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Homocysteine

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

High blood levels of homocysteine can lead to impaired mental ability in the elderly; however, vitamin B may offset decline, a new study published in the Oct. 1 American Journal of Epidemiology suggests. "Plasma total homocysteine (tHcy) concentrations are associated with deficits in cognitive performance in persons free from dementia," Merrill Elias, MD, Boston University, et al., find. However, "treatment with folate, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12 may result in lowering of homocysteine." The study was conducted as part of the Framingham Offspring Study, an ongoing survey tracking community health in Framingham, Mass. Using data collected between 1991 and 2002, researchers examined 2,096 patients over the age of 40 who were free of stroke and dementia. The subjects were divided according to age. "Statistically significant inverse associations between tHcy and multiple cognitive domains were observed for individuals aged 60 or more years; no such associations were observed for participants aged less than 60 years," the study states...

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