Journal Article

Folate Intake and Risk of Parkinson’s Disease

Honglei Chen, Shumin M. Zhang, Michael A. Schwarzschild, Miguel A. Hernán, Giancarlo Logroscino, Walter C. Willett and Alberto Ascherio

in American Journal of Epidemiology

Published on behalf of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Volume 160, issue 4, pages 368-375
Published in print August 2004 | ISSN: 0002-9262
Published online August 2004 | e-ISSN: 1476-6256 | DOI:
Folate Intake and Risk of Parkinson’s Disease

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In clinical studies, individuals with Parkinson’s disease have had higher concentrations of plasma homocysteine than did controls, and experimental evidence suggests that folate deficiency or focal administration of homocysteine sensitizes dopaminergic neurons to the neurotoxicity of 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine. The authors thus prospectively investigated whether higher intake of folate, vitamin B6, or vitamin B12 was related to a lower risk of Parkinson’s disease in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (1986–2000) and the Nurses’ Health Study (1980–1998). They documented Parkinson’s disease diagnoses in 248 men and 167 women during the follow-up. Folate intake was not associated with the risk of Parkinson’s disease; the relative risks for the highest compared with the lowest quintiles were 1.0 (95% confidence interval: 0.7, 1.5) in men and 1.3 (95% confidence interval: 0.8, 2.3) in women. Neither did they find significant associations in analyses stratified by age, smoking, alcohol consumption, or lactose intake. Intake of vitamin B6 or vitamin B12 also was not related to the risk of Parkinson’s disease. The current study does not support the hypothesis that higher intake of folate or related B vitamins lowers the risk of Parkinson’s disease.

Keywords: cohort studies; diet; folic acid; homocysteine; Parkinson disease; Abbreviations: CI, confidence interval; MPTP, 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine.

Journal Article.  4951 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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