**Note: All laboratory testing requires an authorizing physician. DHA Laboratory offers a patient direct program that partners you with an authorizing physician. If you have any additional questions regarding the availability of testing, please contact our laboratory by telephone or email.**
The Fundamental Neuro Panel Includes:
Copper Serum, Zinc Plasma, Ceruloplasmin
Copper Serum: A highly reliable blood test that directly relates to brain chemistry. Elevated copper levels can alter the brains function, specifically the activity of dopamine and norepinephrine. Copper plays a large role in the metabolism of dopamine and the synthesis of norepinephrine. In turn, elevated copper levels lower dopamine levels and raise levels of norepinephrine. Imbalances in these essential brain chemicals have been related to paranoid schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder, postpartum depression, ADD, ADHD, autism, and violent aggressive behavior. Copper serum levels can single handedly be the root cause of an individual condition, but elevated copper serum levels are also known to cause zinc levels to deplete and oxidative stress to rise.
Zinc Plasma: A measurement that is closely correlated to biochemistry, and more specifically brain chemistry. Functional levels of zinc, along with a copper/zinc ratio, are frequently performed as markers for specific neuro activity. Zinc plasma is also used to monitor exposure to zinc; evaluate suspected nutritional inadequacy, especially in enteral or parental nutrition, critically ill or burn patients; cases of diabetes or delayed wound healing; growth retardation; follow therapy.
Ceruloplasmin: Used in the evaluation of oxidative stress. When paired with copper, it is used to calculate free copper. When paired with other blood or urine copper tests, ceruloplasmin is used to help diagnose Wilson’s disease. This is due to a decreased ability to incorporate copper into apoceruloplasmin. In turn, free copper levels in plasma and tissue are greatly increased, especially in the liver and brain. An estimated 95% of copper in the blood is bound to ceruloplasmin. As a result, only a very small amount of copper is found in the blood in an unbound or free state.