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Are cognitive processing problems associated with hereditary haemochromatosis?


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McElwee, G 2005 , 'Are cognitive processing problems associated with hereditary haemochromatosis?', Coursework Master thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Haemochromatosis is an inherited disease in which the body absorbs iron at an
accelerated rate, leading to iron overload and oxidative damage. This occurs in major
organs such as the liver, heart and pancreas but may also occur in the brain. The brain
has a high iron requirement and few antioxidants compared to the rest of the body,
making it particularly vulnerable to oxidative stress. Brain iron overload has been
implicated in the pathogenesis and progression of diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis,
Parkinson's Disease and Alzheimer's Disease. Case studies have investigated patients
who have both haemochromatosis and altered cognitive functioning, although most
have involved patients with advanced disease and additional complications, making it
difficult to establish causation. If iron-mediated damage occurs within the brain in
people with haemochromatosis then it is possible that processes such as memory,
learning, attention and information processing speed are affected.These processes are
sensitive to brain damage and are commonly influenced by concussion and metabolic
disorders. Separating the primary effects of iron overload from secondary effects such
as anxiety, depression, fatigue and pain is difficult as each impacts on cognition.
Many people with haemochromatosis have complained of cognitive problems.
However medical staff have attributed these problems to secondary effects of the
disease. No study to date has attempted to investigate the primary effects of
haemochromatosis on cognitive functioning using comprehensive neuropsychological
tests and a large patient sample with matched controls.

Item Type: Thesis - Coursework Master
Authors/Creators:McElwee, G
Keywords: Hemochromatosis, Cognition
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2005 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright
owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We
would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s).

Additional Information:

Thesis (M.Psych.)--University of Tasmania, 2005. Includes bibliographical references

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