Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Lowering Homocysteine Fails to Boost Cognitive Performance

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Lowering Homocysteine Fails to Boost Cognitive Performance

Article excerpt

Elevated homocysteine levels may not be a risk factor for cognitive decline in older patients, despite previous evidence, reported Jennifer A. McMahon, Ph.D.

She and her colleagues at the University of Otago, New Zealand, conducted a 2-year randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to assess the effect of homocysteine lowering on the cognitive abilities of people aged older than 65 years through neuropsychological tests (N. Engl. J. Med. 2006;354:2764-72).

The researchers found that the reduction of plasma homocysteine in the studied elderly population was not associated with significant differences from placebo in various measures of cognitive ability.

A total of 253 participants (mean age 74 years) completed the study. To be enrolled, the patients were required to have a fasting homocysteine level of at least 13 [micro]mol/L and a normal plasma creatinine level; to be free of suspected dementia, current depression treatment, history of stroke/transient ischemic attack, and diabetes; and to not be taking B-vitamin supplements or medications that can affect folate metabolism.

The investigators then gave the treatment group (127 patients) a daily supplement comprising 1,000 mcg folate, 500 mcg [B.sub.12], and 10 mg [B. …

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