Plasma ceruloplasmin ferroxidase activity correlates with the nigral sonographic area in Parkinson's disease patients: a pilot study.
ABSTRACT Increased area of the substantia nigra (SN) associated to iron deposition has been proposed as a specific marker for Parkinson's disease (PD). Echogenicity, assessed by transcranial sonography (TCS), has been used to measure such an iron deposition. On the other hand, ferroxidase activity is known to play a role in brain iron metabolism and thus could be involved in increased SN echogenicity of PD patients. The present study was conducted to search for a possible correlation between both markers: TCS of SN and plasma ferroxidase activity. Twenty-one PD patients and 13 healthy volunteers (HV) were included. Mean SN sonographic areas were 0.31 cm² for PD patients and 0.12 cm² for HV (P < 0.001), while plasma ferroxidase activity was reduced in PD patients (P < 0.001). Interestingly, plasma ferroxidase activity was inversely correlated with the SN size by TCS (R² = 0.31), suggesting a relationship between the two markers.