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Low vitamin B-12 status in confirmed Alzheimer’s disease as revealed by serum holotranscobalamin
  1. H Refsum1,
  2. A D Smith2
  1. 1Department of Pharmacology, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
  2. 2Oxford Project to Investigate Memory and Aging (OPTIMA), Department of Pharmacology, University of Oxford
  1. Correspondence to:
 Professor A David Smith, University Department of Pharmacology, Mansfield Rd, Oxford OX1 3QT, UK;
 david.smith{at}pharmacology.oxford.ac.uk

Abstract

Objective: To examine the possible association of holotranscobalamin, the active fraction of serum cobalamin, with Alzheimer’s disease.

Methods: 51 patients with pathologically confirmed Alzheimer’s disease and 65 cognitively screened elderly controls were studied. Serum holotranscobalamin was measured by a new solid phase radioimmunoassay.

Results: Geometric mean levels showed no significant case–control differences for serum total cobalamin, but lower levels of holotranscobalamin in Alzheimer’s disease (41.1 pmol/l) than in controls (57.1 pmol/l) (p < 0.001). The odds ratio of Alzheimer’s disease was significant for low holotranscobalamin but not for low total cobalamin.

Conclusions: Disturbed cobalamin status is common in Alzheimer’s disease and accordingly measurement of holotranscobalamin should be considered in the assessment of cognitively impaired patients.

  • vitamin B-12
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • holotranscobalamin
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Footnotes

  • Competing interests: Both authors have had costs to participate in scientific meetings reimbursed by Axis-Shield Ltd.

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