Low blood levels of ferritin — the main form of iron stored in cells — are significantly associated with more severe depressive symptoms and poorer quality of life in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients, a small study from Poland reports.
Data showed no link between the levels of other measures of iron metabolism and fatigue severity.
Larger and comparative studies, particularly in patients with chronic fatigue, are needed to confirm these preliminary findings, its researchers wrote.
The study, “The Role of Iron Metabolism in Fatigue, Depression, and Quality of Life in Multiple Sclerosis Patients,” was published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.
Iron is a micronutrient essential for several biological processes, and poorly regulated iron metabolism (leading either to iron deficiency or overload) is associated with several diseases.
Iron balance in the brain is even more delicate, given that nerve cells do not renew. Iron accumulation in the brain damages cells, as does oxidative stress (an imbalance between the production of free radicals and the ability of cells to detoxify them).
Such damaging iron buildup has been observed in the brains of patients with several neurodegenerative disorders, including Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. In MS patients, previous studies showed iron dysregulation (either deficiency or accumulation) in several brain regions and a general imbalance in iron-associated oxidative stress in blood samples.
However, research so far evaluating bodywide changes in iron metabolism in MS patients reports inconsistent, and even contradictory, findings.
We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!
Let us improve this post!
Tell us how we can improve this post?