Serum concentrations of some metals and steroids in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome with reference to neurological and cognitive abnormalities
Chronic fatigue syndrome is defined by the Atlanta Centers for Disease Control (Atlanta, GA, USA) as debilitating fatigue lasting for longer than 6 months. Symptoms include disturbances of cognition. Certain factors have in the past been shown to influence cognition, including metals such as aluminum, iron, and zinc; and steroids such as dehydroepiandrosterone. In the present study, concentrations of these factors were determined in the serum and plasma of patients and their age- and gender-matched healthy controls (10 women and 5 men in each group). In addition, copper, dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate, cortisol, cholesterol, hemoglobin, ferritin and transferrin concentrations, as well as transferrin genetic subtypes were determined in both groups. The results indicate that patients had significantly increased serum aluminum and decreased iron compared to controls. In the females, serum iron and dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate were significantly decreased and correlated. Total cholesterol was significantly increased, and significantly negatively correlated with dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate. There were no differences in zinc, copper, cortisol, hemoglobin, transferrin and ferritin concentrations, or in transferrin genetic subtypes. © 2001 Elsevier Science Inc.