Selenium status in elderly: Relation to cognitive decline

Bárbara Rita Cardoso, VerÔnica Silva Bandeira, Wilson Jacob-Filho, Silvia Maria Franciscato Cozzolino

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Studies show that decreased antioxidant system is related to cognitive decline. Thus we aimed to measure selenium (Se) status in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) elderly and compared them with a control group (CG). 27 AD, 17 MCI and 28 control elderly were evaluated. Se concentration was determined in plasma and erythrocyte by using hydride generation atomic absorption spectroscopy. Erythrocyte Se concentration in AD group was lower than CG (43.73. ±. 23.02. μg/L and 79.15. ±. 46.37. μg/L; p=. 0.001), but not statistically different from MCI group (63.97. ±. 18.26. μg/L; p=. 0.156). AD group exhibited the lowest plasma Se level (34.49. ±. 19.94. μg/L) when compared to MCI (61.36. ±. 16.08. μg/L; p=. 0.000) and to CG (50.99. ±. 21.06. μg/L; p=. 0.010). It is observed that erythrocyte Se decreases as cognition function does. Since erythrocyte reflects longer-term nutritional status, the data point to the importance of the relation between Se exposure and cognitive function. Our findings suggest that the deficiency of Se may contribute to cognitive decline among aging people.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)422-426
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Cognitive decline
  • Mild cognitive impairment
  • Oxidative stress
  • Selenium

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