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Pathol Biol (Paris). 2013 Oct;61(5):184-92. doi: 10.1016/j.patbio.2012.04.003. Epub 2012 May 29.

[Homocysteine, vitamin B-12, folic acid and the cognitive decline in the elderly].

[Article in French]

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine of Sousse, 4002 Sousse, Tunisie. Electronic address:


Hyperhomocysteinemia is a risk factor for neurological diseases, but the underlying pathophysiology has not been adequately explained. Mild hyperhomocysteinemia, which is sometimes associated with a low plasma level of vitamin B9, B12 and folic acid, is responsible in the toxicity in neural cell by activating NMDA receptor. Indeed, even if vitamin supplementation has clearly proven its efficiency on lowering plasma levels of homocysteine, recent studies do not show any positive effect of vitamin therapy on cognitive function. The hypothesis that this therapy is inefficient has been recently reinforced by two randomized trials on the effects of vitamin supplementation. Several hypotheses still need to be explored: Mechanisms of homocysteine toxicity and that of total uselessness of vitamin supplementation; the possible need to complete the actual data with further, more powerful studies in order to prove the role of homocysteine in the development of neurodegenerative diseases and a clinical effect of vitamin therapy.


Dementia; Démence; Homocysteine; Homocystéine; Hyperhomocysteinemia; Hyperhomocystéinémie; Supplémentation vitaminique; Vitamin supplementation

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