Michael John House1, Timothy St. Pierre1, John Olynyk2, Elizabeth Milward3, David Bruce2
1School of Physics, The University of Western Australia, Crawley, Western Australia, Australia; 2School of Medicine and Pharmacology, The University of Western Australia, Crawley, Western Australia, Australia; 3School of Biomedical Sciences, The University of Newcastle, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
Studies of iron overload in humans and animals suggest that brain iron concentrations may be related to body iron status. To evaluate this, we used MRI to measure the proton transverse relaxation rate (R2) in the brains of 20 healthy elderly men. Brain R2 values were compared with liver iron concentrations (LIC) and serum iron indices. R2 values in the globus pallidus and ventral pallidum were significantly correlated with LIC, serum iron concentrations and transferrin saturation. Our results suggest that iron levels in specific grey matter brain regions are influenced by systemic iron status in elderly men.