More than two years ago, my fathers neurologist at the time thought Dad had iron overload, and that this contributed to his dementia. But it turns out he had only a single genetic mutation associated with iron overload, making it less likely that he would develop this problem. Looking through Dads medical records, Im not sure the results of his blood tests indicate iron overload anyway.
The American Hemochromatosis Society lists blood test results that indicate a problem with excess iron: transferrin saturation greater than 40% and/or ferritin greater than 150ng/mL. My fathers serum ferritin level was 200 ng/mL. Although this is in what the American Hemochromatosis Societys web site calls the Danger Zone, his lab report lists 300 or under as in the normal range. I dont see any record that the neurologist ordered a test for total iron binding capacity, which would have allowed him to calculate transferrin saturation level.
My parents asked for a consultation with a doctor specializing in blood disorders after this diagnosis. I can see from her notes that she ordered a new serum ferritin test as well as a total iron binding capacity test to confirm her suspicion that Dad didnt have iron overload. He had blood drawn for these tests, but there are no results in the records. I dont think she ever notified my parents about what she found.
So, with the results of blood tests for iron overload unclear or unknown, and genetic tests showing that iron overload was unlikely, Im unable to follow that neurologists logic. Unless there are excess levels of iron in Dads brain tissue, I think its unlikely that iron overload caused his problems.