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Korean Journal of Preventive Medicine 1990;23(3): 296-308.
Relationship of Hair Copper and Mercury Contents to Personality in Chronic Schizophrenia.
Doohie Kim, Young Woo Kang, Soon Woo Park, Kuen Hoo Lee, Young Sook Lee
1Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, Kyungpook National University, Korea.
2Department of Neuropsychiatry, College of Medicine, Ewha University, Korea.
ABSTRACT
The relationship between copper and mercury contents in the scalp hair and chronic schizaphrenia was investigated. The samples of scalp hair were collected from 80 male chronic schizophrenic patients at the age from 20 to 20, who were hospitalized in the National Psychiatric Hospital in Seoul. As the napes and the Minnesota Multiple Personality Inventory (MMPI) was performed also. The copper and mercury contents were determined by an atomic absorption spectrophotometer. Significantly higher T-score of MMPI was seen in patients group for Hypochondriasis Scale (Hs), Depression Scale (D), Psychopathic Deviate Scale (Pd), Paranoia Scale (Pa), Psychasthenia Scale (Pt), Schizophrenia Scale (Sc) subscales than control group, and the frequency distribution by T-score was also significantly different between the patient and the control group for above scales. The content of copper in the hair of patient group was significantly higher than control group. In the case of mercury, the mean value of patient group was significantly higher than control group. Between the value of copper and mercury, statistically significant negative correlation (r=-0.25) was found. When grouped by the T-score of MMPI, there was no difference of copper contents between T-score subgroup at all MMPI scale. But the mercury contents showed significant difference between T-score subgroup at Pt, Sc scale. When compared between the group of above 70 T-score and the group of less than 70, the mercury contents of Pa, Pt, Sc scale of above 70 T-score group were significantly higher than the group of less than 70. In other scales, the mercury content of the above 70 group were higher than the group of less than 70 except Mf scale, although there were no statistically significances. In D, Pa, Sc scales, as the T-score of MMPI increased, the contents of mercury also increased. When divided into the patient group and the control group, the copper contents of the patient groups were significantly lower than the control group at each T-score scale in most MMPI scales. In the case of mercury, the value of patient group were significantly lower than the control group in the less than 44 scale of D, in the 60~69 scale of Pd, in the 45~59 scale of Mf, in the 60~69 scale of Ma, in the less than 44 of Si. These results suggest that the effects of the deficiency of copper or high intake of mercury on schizophrenia and personality may be of possible value. Thus further studies are necessary to determine whether schizophrenia and personality formation would be attributed to copper deficiency or mercury intake.
Key words: Copper; Mercury; Schizophrenia; MMPI
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