People with elevated levels of homocysteine in the blood had nearly double the risk of developing Alzheimers disease (AD), according to a new report from scientists at Boston University. The findings, in a group of people participating in the long-running Framingham Study, are the first to tie homocysteine levels measured several years before with later diagnosis of AD and other dementias. The report, which appears in the February 14, 2002, issue of The New England Journal of Medicine, provides some of the most powerful evidence yet of an association between high plasma homocysteine and later, significant memory loss.
The relationship between AD and the amino acid homocysteine is of particular interest because blood levels of homocysteine can be reduced, for example, by increasing intake of folic acid (or folate) and vitamins B6 and B12. The therapeutic use of these compounds is being explored as scientists try to understand better homocysteines role in AD or other types of dementia as well as its possible link to various forms of heart disease.
The dementia/AD study is being conducted by Philip A. Wolf, M.D., Boston
University (BU), and colleagues at BU and Tufts University, who authored the new
findings. The study was supported by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The researchers were also funded by NIHs National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). The Framingham Heart Study is supported by the NIHs National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI).
The Framingham population gave us the perfect opportunity to look at homocysteine levels in a group of people without memory problems over a period of several years, well before any evidence of dementia, Wolf pointed out. This is the clearest demonstration yet of the relationship between elevated homocysteine levels and dementia, he noted.
The evidence is beginning to mount regarding homocysteines role in dementia, Page: 1 2 3 Related medicine news :1
Contact: Vicky Cahan
NIH/National Institute on Aging
. New insight into link between homocysteine and stroke2
. Black women with high blood pressure during pregnancy have higher homocysteine levels3
. Coffee drinking elevates plasma homocysteine and risk factors for coronary heart disease4
. Moderately high homocysteine tied to stroke, Alzheimers risk5
. Charcoal and forest management could reduce greenhouse gas levels & save lives in Africa6
. Physicians may not be accurate in their confidence levels of their diagnoses, says Pitt study7
. Decreased levels of good cholesterol in children with Progeria may cause premature heart disease8
. Study finds indoor allergen levels vary, cockroach allergens cause more asthma symptoms9
. Small increases or blips in HIV levels do not signal mutations leading to drug-resistant HIV10
. High levels of airborne mouse allergen in inner-city homes could trigger asthma attacks11
. Elevated glucose levels and diabetes are associated with increased risk for cancer