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PLoS One. 2014 Nov 11;9(11):e112512. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0112512. eCollection 2014.

Serum uric acid and nigral iron deposition in Parkinson's disease: a pilot study.

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Department of Neurology, Pusan National University Yangsan Hospital, Research Institute for Convergence of Biomedical Science and Technology, Yangsan, Korea.



Uric acid (UA) is an endogenous antioxidant which is known to reduce oxidative stress and also chelate iron ion. Recent studies have provided evidence that UA may play a neuroprotective role in Parkinson's disease (PD). However, it is unknown whether UA relates to nigral iron deposition, which is a characteristic pathophysiological alteration in PD. The aim of this study was to determine the potential relationship of these two markers in patients with PD.


A total of 30 patients of PD and 25 age- and gender- matched healthy controls underwent 3-Tesla MRI and laboratory tests including serum UA levels. We assessed iron levels by measuring phase shift values using susceptibility-weighted image. Mean phase shift values of the substantia nigra (SN), red nucleus, head of the caudate nucleus, globus pallidus, putamen, thalamus, and frontal white matter were calculated and correlated with serum UA levels.


Serum UA levels were significantly decreased in the PD patients than in the controls. Phase shift values in bilateral SN were significantly increased in the PD patients than in the controls. There was no significant correlation between serum UA levels and nigral phase shift values.


As previous studies, low serum UA level and increased nigral iron content in the PD was reconfirmed in this study. However, we failed to find the relationship between these two markers. Our data suggest that serum UA may not be important determinant of nigral iron deposition in PD.

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