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Neuroreport. 2011 Jun 11;22(8):391-5. doi: 10.1097/WNR.0b013e328346bf85.

Homocysteine effects on brain volumes mapped in 732 elderly individuals.

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  • 1Laboratory of Neuro Imaging, Department of Neurology, UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California 90095-7332, USA.


Elevated homocysteine levels are a known risk factor for Alzheimer's disease and vascular disorders. Here we applied tensor-based morphometry to brain magnetic resonance imaging scans of 732 elderly individuals from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative study, to determine associations between homocysteine and brain atrophy. Those with higher homocysteine levels showed greater frontal, parietal, and occipital white matter atrophy in the entire cohort, irrespective of diagnosis, age, or sex. This association was also found when considering mild cognitive impairment individuals separately. Vitamin B supplements, such as folate, may help prevent homocysteine-related atrophy in Alzheimer's disease by possibly reducing homocysteine levels. These atrophy profiles may, in the future, offer a potential biomarker to gauge the efficacy of interventions using dietary folate supplementation.

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