Identification of biological markers for neuropsychiatric disorders

Dimopoulos, Nikolaos (2005) Identification of biological markers for neuropsychiatric disorders. Masters thesis, University of Central Lancashire.

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Geriatric population is a rapidly growing segment of western communities. The need of management of this specifically vulnerable group of individuals has led to numerous studies concerning early detection of factors, which could be of importance for the course and prognosis of disorders in the elderly. Dementia and depression have triggered special interest due to the remarkable personal, financial and social burden that may cause to patients and their caregivers. In this respect, the possible relationship between these disorders and a number of biochemical factors in a community-dwelling, elderly, population was studied. The purpose of the present work was the identification of biochemical parameters in plasma, which may serve as predisposition factors of dementia and geriatric depression. Screening of a genetically isolated population, with
two established rating scales, the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) and the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS), allowed the formation of three distinct groups of individuals: patients with dementia, depression and healthy controls. Based on current literature, ten biochemical factors were studied in the plasma of these individuals, including homocysteine, folate, Vitamin B12, total cholesterol, triglycerides, HDLCholesterol, VCAM-1, JCAM-1, glucose and CRP. The results were tested at Pc 0.05 level of statistical significance. ilomocysteine, VCAM-1 and ICAJvI-1 levels were significantly higher in the dementia and depression group, whereas folate, vitamin B12, cholesterol and HDL were significantly lower. No statistical significance was detected for glucose and triglycerides among groups. The positive correlation of these biochemical markers with the diagnosis of dementia and depression suggests the presence of a similar pathological 'pattern' underlying both disorders which is in agreement with the hypothesis of a common substrate of vascular pathology in both dementia and depression in late-life.

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