Journal Article

Homocysteine and Cognitive Performance in the Framingham Offspring Study: Age Is Important

Merrill F. Elias, Lisa M. Sullivan, Ralph B. D'Agostino, Penelope K. Elias, Paul F. Jacques, Jacob Selhub, Sudha Seshadri, Rhoda Au, Alexa Beiser and Philip A. Wolf

in American Journal of Epidemiology

Published on behalf of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Volume 162, issue 7, pages 644-653
Published in print October 2005 | ISSN: 0002-9262
Published online October 2005 | e-ISSN: 1476-6256 | DOI:
Homocysteine and Cognitive Performance in the Framingham Offspring Study: Age Is Important

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Plasma total homocysteine (tHcy) concentrations are associated with deficits in cognitive performance in persons free from dementia. The extent to which age modifies these associations is in need of further investigation in large, community-based, prospective studies combining the following elements: 1) multiple cognitive tests; 2) statistical adjustment for the role of the vitamin cofactors folate, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12; and 3) adjustment for the presence of risk factors for cardiovascular disease and stroke. Using data collected between 1991 and 2002, the authors investigated the associations between tHcy and multiple measures of cognitive performance in 2,096 dementia- and stroke-free participants of the Framingham Offspring Study, who were stratified into three age groups (40–49 years, 50–59 years, 60–82 years), after findings of statistically significant tHcy-by-age interactions for multiple cognitive measures. Regardless of statistical adjustment for age, sex, gender, the vitamin cofactors, and cardiovascular risk factors, statistically significant inverse associations between tHcy and multiple cognitive domains were observed for individuals aged 60 or more years; no such associations were observed for participants aged less than 60 years. Early preventive interventions may be important, because the inverse association between tHcy and cognitive performance is observed beyond middle age.

Keywords: aging; cognition; folic acid; homocysteine; memory disorders; risk factors; vitamin B 6; vitamin B 12; APOE, apolipoprotein E gene; tHcy, plasma total homocysteine

Journal Article.  6102 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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