Both serum homocysteine (tHcy), an amino acid associated with vitamin B12, and holotranscobalamin (holoTC), the biologically active fraction of vitamin B12, may have a role in the development of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), the findings of a new Finnish study suggest.
Among a group of elderly subjects followed up for 7 years, elevated baseline serum tHcy concentrations were independently associated with an increased risk of developing AD, whereas higher baseline holoTC values were independently related to a reduced risk for incident AD. No association was observed with folate.
“Our results indicate that vitamin B12 and related metabolites may have a role in Alzheimer’s disease, but more research is needed before we can get conclusion on the role of vitamin B12 supplements on neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease,” first study author Babak Hooshmand, MD, MSc, of the Aging Research Center, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden, noted in an email to Medscape Medical News.
Their results are published October 19 in Neurology.
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