Objectives: Prospective findings have not been consistent for folate, vitamin B12 and homocysteine concentrations as predictors of dementia. This study aimed to investigate both baseline concentrations of folate, vitamin B12 and homocysteine and changes in these concentrations as predictors/correlates of incident dementia.
Methods: Of 625 elderly patients without dementia at baseline, 518 (83%) were followed over a 2.4 year period and were clinically assessed for incident dementia and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Serum concentrations of folate, vitamin B12 and homocysteine were measured at the baseline and follow-up assessments. Covariates included age, sex, education, disability, depression, alcohol consumption, physical activity, vascular risk factors, serum creatinine concentration, vitamin intake and weight change.
Results: Only baseline lower folate concentrations predicted incident dementia. The onset of dementia was significantly associated with an exaggerated decline in folate, a weaker increase in vitamin B12 concentrations and an exaggerated increase in homocysteine concentrations over the follow-up period. These associations were reduced following adjustment for weight change over the same period.
Conclusions: Incident dementia is more strongly associated with changes in folate, vitamin B12 and homocysteine than with previous concentrations. These changes may be linked to other somatic manifestations of early dementia, such as weight loss.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
Funding: The research was supported by a grant from the Korea Health 21 R&D, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Republic of Korea (A050174).
Competing interests: None.
Ethics approval: Ethics approval was obtained.
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.