Homocysteine & Cognition (2007)

This study evaluated the association between plasma homocysteine levels and cognition. The presence of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) in 1215 elderly subjects (aged 60-85years) from Korea was assessed. Individuals with MCI may be at an increased risk for developing dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. Homocysteine levels, in addition to folate and vitamin B12 levels were measured in blood samples. The presence of MCI was assessed by an independent physician using Mayo clinic criteria which included: 1) memory complaint, preferably corroborated by an informant; 2) objective memory impairment for age; 3) largely preserved general cognition; 4) essentially normal activities of daily living; and 5) no dementia.

The results also showed that high homocysteine was associated with low blood folate or vitamin B12 levels suggesting that supplementation of these nutrients may be helpful in reducing elevated homocysteine levels.

The results found a strong association between increased plasma homocysteine levels and risk of MCI. The association appeared to be independent of other well-known risk factors for cognitive decline such as age, sex, education, smoking, marital status, and serum vitamin levels which suggests that hyperhomocysteinemia may be an independent risk factor for MCI in elderly Korean subjects.

Kim, J. et al., ‘Plasma Homocysteine Is Associated with the Risk of Mild Cognitive Impairment in an Elderly Korean Population’, The Journal of Nutrition, 137 (9), 2093-2098, September 2007

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