Biological Trace Element Research

, Volume 189, Issue 2, pp 361–369 | Cite as

Brain Selenium in Alzheimer’s Disease (BRAIN SEAD Study): a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

  • Seshadri Reddy VarikasuvuEmail author
  • Satya Prasad V
  • Jyothinath Kothapalli
  • Munikumar Manne


Oxidative stress has been found to be implicated in the development of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). In this meta-analytic review, we compared tissue levels between AD and non-AD brains of selenium, an important biological trace element well known for its vital role in the brain function. We included 14 studies with 40 observations on selenium concentrations in AD and control brains. The effect size as standardized mean difference (SMD) was generated using review manager 5.3. Random-effects meta-analysis indicated a decrease (SMD = − 0.42) in brain tissue selenium levels in AD as compared to non-AD controls. The subgroup meta-analysis demonstrated that the selenium levels were decreased in the temporal, hippocampal, and cortex regions in AD. The funnel plot with Egger’s (p = 0.88) and Begg’s tests (p = 0.24) detected no significant publication bias. The results of sensitivity analysis indicated that no single study/observation had significantly influenced the overall outcome. This meta-analysis provides consolidated evidence for a significant decrease of selenium status in AD brains compared to controls. In line with the evidence supporting selenium’s antioxidant role and the involvement of oxidative stress in AD development, this meta-analysis supports new therapeutic strategies aimed at brain tissue selenium homeostasis in AD.


Alzheimer’s disease Cognitive function Dementia Meta-analysis Selenium 



Dr. V.S. Reddy is very much thankful to Prof. Tiejun Tong and Luo Dehui (PhD Scholar), Department of Mathematics, Hong Kong Baptist University for their statistical expertise and help in the methodology. A special note of thanks to Varikasuvu Sahasra Bhairavi for the time I could not give you during this work.

Author’s Contributions

VSR designed the study, conducted literature search, performed analysis, and wrote the manuscript. SP and JK participated in literature search and revised the manuscript. MM assisted in literature search, selection criteria, and data collection. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

12011_2018_1492_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (612 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 612 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Medicine, Department of BiochemistryMaheshwara Medical College & HospitalHyderabadIndia
  2. 2.Faculty of Medicine, Department of AnatomyMaheshwara Medical College & HospitalHyderabadIndia
  3. 3.Biomedical Informatics Center (BMIC)National Institute of Nutrition-Indian Council of Medical ResearchHyderabadIndia

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