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High homocysteine and low B vitamins predict cognitive decline in aging men: the Veterans Affairs Normative Aging Study.

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Elevated homocysteine concentrations may contribute to cognitive impairment. Most elevations in homocysteine result from inadequate folate, vitamin B-12, or vitamin B-6 intake. It is not clear whether the observed associations between homocysteine and cognitive measures are causal or whether they are due to homocysteine, to independent actions of the B vitamins, or to both.

OBJECTIVE

We aimed to assess the individual and independent effects of baseline plasma homocysteine, folate, vitamin B-12, and vitamin B-6 and of dietary B vitamin intakes on 3-y changes in cognitive measures in 321 aging men.

DESIGN

Participants were from the Veterans Affairs Normative Aging Study. Cognitive function was assessed with the Mini-Mental State Examination and on the basis of measures of memory, verbal fluency, and constructional praxis, which were adapted from the revised Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale and the Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer's Disease batteries at 2 time points. At baseline, dietary intakes were assessed with a food-frequency questionnaire, and blood was drawn for the measurement of B vitamins and homocysteine.

RESULTS

Over a mean 3-y follow-up, declines in constructional praxis, measured by spatial copying, were significantly associated with plasma homocysteine, folate, and vitamins B-6 and B-12 and with the dietary intake of each vitamin. Folate (plasma and dietary) remained independently protective against a decline in spatial copying score after adjustment for other vitamins and for plasma homocysteine. Dietary folate was also protective against a decline in verbal fluency. A high homocysteine concentration was associated with a decline in recall memory.

CONCLUSIONS

Low B vitamin and high homocysteine concentrations predict cognitive decline. Spatial copying measures appear to be most sensitive to these effects in a general population of aging men.

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  • Authors+Show Affiliations

    ,

    Jean Mayer US Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, Boston, MA 02111, USA. katherine.tucker@tufts.edu

    , , ,

    Source

    MeSH

    Aged
    Aged, 80 and over
    Aging
    Cognition
    Cognition Disorders
    Cohort Studies
    Cross-Sectional Studies
    Diet
    Folic Acid
    Folic Acid Deficiency
    Follow-Up Studies
    Homocysteine
    Humans
    Male
    Middle Aged
    Predictive Value of Tests
    Vitamin B 12
    Vitamin B 6
    Vitamin B Complex

    Pub Type(s)

    Comment
    Journal Article
    Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
    Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
    Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    16155277

    Citation

    Tucker, Katherine L., et al. "High Homocysteine and Low B Vitamins Predict Cognitive Decline in Aging Men: the Veterans Affairs Normative Aging Study." The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vol. 82, no. 3, 2005, pp. 627-35.
    Tucker KL, Qiao N, Scott T, et al. High homocysteine and low B vitamins predict cognitive decline in aging men: the Veterans Affairs Normative Aging Study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2005;82(3):627-35.
    Tucker, K. L., Qiao, N., Scott, T., Rosenberg, I., & Spiro, A. (2005). High homocysteine and low B vitamins predict cognitive decline in aging men: the Veterans Affairs Normative Aging Study. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 82(3), pp. 627-35.
    Tucker KL, et al. High Homocysteine and Low B Vitamins Predict Cognitive Decline in Aging Men: the Veterans Affairs Normative Aging Study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2005;82(3):627-35. PubMed PMID: 16155277.
    * Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
    TY - JOUR T1 - High homocysteine and low B vitamins predict cognitive decline in aging men: the Veterans Affairs Normative Aging Study. AU - Tucker,Katherine L, AU - Qiao,Ning, AU - Scott,Tammy, AU - Rosenberg,Irwin, AU - Spiro,Avron,3rd PY - 2005/9/13/pubmed PY - 2005/11/3/medline PY - 2005/9/13/entrez SP - 627 EP - 35 JF - The American journal of clinical nutrition JO - Am. J. Clin. Nutr. VL - 82 IS - 3 N2 - BACKGROUND: Elevated homocysteine concentrations may contribute to cognitive impairment. Most elevations in homocysteine result from inadequate folate, vitamin B-12, or vitamin B-6 intake. It is not clear whether the observed associations between homocysteine and cognitive measures are causal or whether they are due to homocysteine, to independent actions of the B vitamins, or to both. OBJECTIVE: We aimed to assess the individual and independent effects of baseline plasma homocysteine, folate, vitamin B-12, and vitamin B-6 and of dietary B vitamin intakes on 3-y changes in cognitive measures in 321 aging men. DESIGN: Participants were from the Veterans Affairs Normative Aging Study. Cognitive function was assessed with the Mini-Mental State Examination and on the basis of measures of memory, verbal fluency, and constructional praxis, which were adapted from the revised Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale and the Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer's Disease batteries at 2 time points. At baseline, dietary intakes were assessed with a food-frequency questionnaire, and blood was drawn for the measurement of B vitamins and homocysteine. RESULTS: Over a mean 3-y follow-up, declines in constructional praxis, measured by spatial copying, were significantly associated with plasma homocysteine, folate, and vitamins B-6 and B-12 and with the dietary intake of each vitamin. Folate (plasma and dietary) remained independently protective against a decline in spatial copying score after adjustment for other vitamins and for plasma homocysteine. Dietary folate was also protective against a decline in verbal fluency. A high homocysteine concentration was associated with a decline in recall memory. CONCLUSIONS: Low B vitamin and high homocysteine concentrations predict cognitive decline. Spatial copying measures appear to be most sensitive to these effects in a general population of aging men. SN - 0002-9165 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/16155277/High_homocysteine_and_low_B_vitamins_predict_cognitive_decline_in_aging_men:_the_Veterans_Affairs_Normative_Aging_Study_ L2 - https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article-lookup/doi/10.1093/ajcn.82.3.627 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -