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Associations between Alzheimer’s Disease and Blood Homocysteine, Vitamin B12, and Folate: A Case-Control Study

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Background: There is a growing focus on nutritional therapy for Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and controversy exists regarding the association between AD and homocysteine (Hcy), vitamin B12, and folate levels. Objective: The present study evaluated the association between AD and the combined levels of Hcy, vitamin B12, and folate. Methods: This case-control study consisted of 115 patients with AD and 115 matched controls. Serum folate and vitamin B12 were measured using an automated immunoassay analyzer. Plasma Hcy was measured using high-performance liquid chromatography. The association between AD and Hcy, vitamin B12, and folate was analyzed using binary logistic regression, adjusted for age and sex. Results: With the combination of normal blood Hcy, vitamin B12, and folate levels as the reference category, low vitamin B12 in subjects with normal Hcy and folate was associated with AD (adjusted odds ratio [OR], 4.6; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.6–13.2). The combination of low vitamin B12 and folate in subjects with normal Hcy was associated with AD (adjusted OR, 4.3; 95% CI: 1.3–14.6). The combination of high Hcy and low folate levels in patients with normal vitamin B12 was associated with AD (adjusted OR, 17.0; 95% CI: 5.4– 53.4). The combination of high Hcy, low vitamin B12, and any folate level was associated with AD (adjusted OR, 30.5; 95% CI: 9.7–95.9). Conclusion: Vitamin B12 was directly associated with AD. The combination of high Hcy, low vitamin B12, and any folate level represented the poorest association with AD.
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Keywords: Activities of daily living; Alzheimer’s disease; folate; homocysteine; mini-Mental state examination; vitamin B12

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2015

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  • Current Alzheimer Research publishes peer-reviewed frontier review and research articles on all areas of Alzheimer's disease. This multidisciplinary journal will help in understanding the neurobiology, genetics, pathogenesis, and treatment strategies of Alzheimer's disease. The journal publishes objective reviews written by experts and leaders actively engaged in research using cellular, molecular, and animal models. The journal also covers original articles on recent research in fast emerging areas of molecular diagnostics, brain imaging, drug development and discovery, and clinical aspects of Alzheimer's disease. Manuscripts are encouraged that relate to the synergistic mechanism of Alzheimer's disease with other dementia and neurodegenerative disorders. Book reviews, meeting reports and letters-to-the-editor are also published. The journal is essential reading for researchers, educators and physicians with interest in age-related dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Current Alzheimer Research provides a comprehensive 'bird's-eye view' of the current state of Alzheimer's research for neuroscientists, clinicians, health science planners, granting, caregivers and families of this devastating disease.
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