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Am J Med. 2010 Jun;123(6):522-527.e2. doi: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2010.01.017.

Effect of folic acid, with or without other B vitamins, on cognitive decline: meta-analysis of randomized trials.

Author information

  • 1Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, Barts and the London School of Medicine, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK. d.s.wald@qmul.ac.uk

Abstract

PURPOSE:

We aimed to quantify the effect of folic acid supplementation on the prevention of cognitive decline.

METHODS:

We conducted a meta-analysis of 9 placebo-controlled randomized trials (2835 participants, median duration 6 months) of folic acid, with or without other B vitamins, on cognitive function. Standardized mean differences in cognitive function test scores were calculated between folic acid and placebo-treated groups.

RESULTS:

The standardized mean difference in cognitive function test scores was 0.01 (95% confidence interval [95% CI], -0.08 to 0.10), or an increase of 1% (95% CI, -8% to 10%) of 1 standard deviation. The results were similar within each of the 4 categories of cognitive function (memory, speed, language, and executive function); standardized mean differences were 0.01 (95% CI, -0.08 to 0.09), -0.01 (95% CI, -0.10 to 0.13), -0.05 (95% CI, -0.15 to 0.04), and 0.03 (95% CI, -0.13 to 0.19), respectively.

CONCLUSION:

Randomized trials show no effect of folic acid, with or without other B vitamins, on cognitive function within 3 years of the start of treatment. Trials of longer duration, recording the incidence of dementia, as well as cognitive decline, are needed.

Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

PMID:
20569758
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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