A Preliminary Analysis of Trace Elements in the Scalp Hair of Patients With Severe Motor Disabilities Receiving Enteral Nutrition

The concentrations of essential trace elements (copper, zinc, selenium, manganese, chromium, molybdenum, cobalt, and iodine) in the scalp hair of 21 patients with severe motor disabilities receiving enteral nutrition were measured using inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry. Preliminary results show that copper, selenium, and molybdenum concentrations in the patients’ hair were significantly lower than those in an age-matched control group (p < 0.01). This suggests that intake of these elements may be reduced in patients receiving restricted enteral nutrition, although the clinical significance of these results should be discussed.

Mitsutoshi Munakata, Akira Onuma, Yasuko Kobayashi, Kazuhiro Haginoya, Hiroyuki Yokoyama, Ikuma Fujiwara, Hiroshi Yasuda, Toyoharu Tsutsui, Kazuie Iinuma (Brain & Development 28 (2006) 521–525)