Current Problems of Psychiatry

Current Problems of Psychiatry

Selenium and its role in medicine with special regard to psychical disorders

Selenium and its role in medicine with special regard to psychical disorders

Curr Probl Psychiatry 2013; 14(4):241-245

Marcin Olajossy1, Nikodem Skoczeń2

¹Chair and Clinic of Psychiatry, Medical University of Lublin
²Clinic of Psychiatry of Independent Public University Hospital No 1 in Lublin


Since the end of 1950s the knowledge about biological role of the selenium compounds has been steadily growing. Along with the development of biochemistry and molecular biology, there is more and more evidence pointing out to incredibly significant role of the selenium compounds in the cell metabolism processes. The analyses covering the protective properties of selenium concerning the phenomenon of oxidative stress seem to be particularly important from the point of view of the research on broadly understood etiology of neoplastic, inflammatory, degenerative and genetic processes as well as the immunological disorders.
The aim of this work is to present the recent scientific findings discussing the most important directions of the research on the physiological role of selenium compounds and their influence on the occurrence of the human organism structure and functioning with special regard to the disorders concerning the central nervous system. Selenium, being the component of the centers of active enzymes such as gluthatione peroxidase, is necessary for the proper course of numerous enzymatic processes. The significance of selenium is also frequently emphasized in the prophylactics of cancers, diseases of the cardio-vascular system and rheumatic diseases. This paper focuses on the main directions of the research on the pathogenetic and therapeutic role of selenium compounds in affective diseases, schizophrenia, autism, disorders of cognitive functions connected i.e. with Alzheimer’s disease. Undoubtedly the vital fact is that there has been discovered an intensified gene expression for SELENBP-1 protein in the experimental animals in which the states were induced that may constitute the model of psychotic and affective disorders.


selenium, mental disorders


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