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Relevance between Dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease and Supplementation with Vitamin B6, B12 and Folic Acid.

Risk Factors for Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease have been identified in scientific research.

J Med 2002; 346:476-483

Plasma Homocysteine as a Risk Factor for Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease

Sudha Seshadri, M.D., Alexa Beiser, Ph.D., Jacob Selhub, Ph.D., Paul F. Jacques, Sc.D., Irwin H. Rosenberg, M.D., Ralph B. D’Agostino, Ph.D., Peter W.F. Wilson, M.D., and Philip A. Wolf, M.D. N Engl

Methods

A total of 1092 subjects without dementia (667 women and 425 men; mean age, 76 years) from the Framingham Study constituted our study sample. We examined the relation of the plasma total homocysteine level measured at base line and that measured eight years earlier to the risk of newly diagnosed dementia on follow-up. We used multivariable proportional-hazards regression to adjust for age, sex, apolipoprotein E genotype, vascular risk factors other than homocysteine, and plasma levels of folate and vitamins B12 and B6.

RESULTS

Over a median follow-up period of eight years, dementia developed in 111 subjects, including 83 given a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. The multivariable-adjusted relative risk of dementia was 1.4 (95 percent confidence interval, 1.1 to 1.9) for each increase of 1 SD in the log-transformed homocysteine value either at base line or eight years earlier. The relative risk of Alzheimer’s disease was 1.8 (95 percent confidence interval, 1.3 to 2.5) per increase of 1 SD at base line and 1.6 (95 percent confidence interval, 1.2 to 2.1) per increase of 1 SD eight years before base line. With a plasma homocysteine level greater than 14 μmol per liter, the risk of Alzheimer’s disease nearly doubled.

Relation between Plasma Homocysteine Levels and incidence of dementia
table 1. Relation between Plasma Homocysteine Levels and incidence of dementia.

Plasma homocysteine levels by age
Fig 1. Plasma homocysteine levels by age

CONCLUSIONS

An increased plasma homocysteine level is a strong, independent risk factor for the development of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

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