Serum selenium and plasma malondialdehyde levels and antioxidant enzyme activities in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder

Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2009 Feb 1;33(1):62-5. doi: 10.1016/j.pnpbp.2008.10.004. Epub 2008 Oct 17.


There is mounting evidence indicating that reactive free radical species are involved in initiation and development of many different forms of human pathologies including psychiatric disorders. In the present study, we aimed to determine whether serum selenium (Se), antioxidant enzyme (glutathione peroxidase, GSH-Px, superoxide dismutase, SOD, and catalase, CAT) activities, and plasma malondialdehyde (MDA) levels, a product of lipid peroxidation, were associated with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). The participants were 28 patients with OCD that were drug-free at least for a month and a control group (n=28) of healthy subjects, matched with respect to age and sex. In both groups, the levels of the erythrocyte MDA, GSH-Px, SOD, Se, and the CAT were measured. The levels of MDA and SOD were statistically significantly higher (p<0.01, p<0.05 respectively) in patients than controls. The activities of CAT, GSH-Px, and serum Se levels were statistically significantly lower (p<0.0001, p<0.001, and p<0.001 respectively) in patients than controls. There was a positive correlation in patients between plasma GSH-Px activity and Se concentration (r=52, p=0.001). However, in patients with OCD, CAT and SOD activities were significantly and negatively correlated with MDA levels (r=-0.45, p=0.017 for CAT and r=-0.54, p=0.020 for SOD). The study shows the presence of a significant relationship of OCD and oxidative stress, and consequently, an involvement of free radicals and of the antioxidant defence.

Publication types

  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antioxidants / metabolism
  • Female
  • Free Radicals / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Malondialdehyde / blood*
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / blood*
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / enzymology*
  • Oxidative Stress*
  • Selenium / blood*


  • Antioxidants
  • Free Radicals
  • Malondialdehyde
  • Selenium