Plasma homocysteine, vitamin B12 and folate in Alzheimer's patients and healthy Arabs in Israel.J Neurol Sci 2004; 227(1):109-13JN
High plasma homocysteine (tHcy) is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and stroke and Alzheimer's disease (AD). An inverse relationship has been reported between tHcy and plasma B12 and folate levels. Seventy-nine AD patients and 156 controls from three Arab villages in northern Israel participated. Plasma tHcy, B12 and folate levels were determined. Data were analyzed using univariate statistical tests and logistical regression with confounders. tHcy was significantly higher in AD patients (20.6+/-8.7 micromol/l) than in controls (16.4+/-6.5 micromol/l) (p=0.03) after correction for year of birth, gender and smoking status. Plasma B12 (322.9+/-136.0/350.5+/-175.3 pmol/l) and plasma folate (4.5+/-3.8/4.9+/-2.6 nmol/l) levels did not differ significantly between AD patients and controls. Subjects in the highest tHcy tertile or in the lowest B12 and folate tertiles did not have greater risk to develop AD. In this population residing in Arab villages in northern Israel, tHcy levels were significantly higher among AD patients than in controls. Plasma B12 and folate levels were lower among cases but were not significant. There was not a significant association between plasma tHcy, B12 and folate levels in controls or AD patients. High levels of tHcy may suggest the need for folate and vitamin B12 supplementation in this population.