A subgroup analysis of the Framingham Study found a strong association between homocysteine and the risk of dementia. The association appears to be independent of age, sex, APOE genotype, plasma vitamin levels and other putative risk factors for dementia. At their 20th biennial follow-up, 1092 dementia-free subjects had their plasma homocysteine levels measured. Over a median follow-up period of 8 years, 111 subjects developed dementia. Those with a plasma homocysteine level >14 µmol/L had almost twice the risk of those with lower levels. Vitamin therapy with folic acid, alone or with vitamins B12 and B6, can reduce plasma homocysteine levels. Prospective trials will be required to demonstrate if vitamin B supplements will reduce the risk of dementia.
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