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Vitamin B-12 Not Linked to Cognition Test Scores

Elevated homocysteine and folate associated with cognitive deficits

MONDAY, Jan. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Elevated homocysteine is linked to constructional ability and processing speed deficits, and folate is linked with deficits in episodic memory and language in highly functioning older adults, but vitamin B-12 is not significantly linked to any specific cognition test score, according to the results of a study published in the December issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Lei Feng, of the National University of Singapore, and colleagues measured the fasting blood concentrations of homocysteine, folate and vitamin B-12, and examined cognitive performance in 451 highly functioning, fully independent Chinese adults aged 55 and older. Independent correlations were measured in multiple linear regression models, controlling for potential confounders.

Using the Block Design and written Symbol Digit Modality Test, log-transformed homocysteine was inversely linked to performance. Log-transformed folate was significantly linked with delayed recall, verbal learning and forgetfulness. Vitamin B-12 was not significantly linked to any cognition test score.

"In high-functioning Chinese older adults, there were differential associations of homocysteine, folate and vitamin B-12 with specific domains of cognitive performance. Homocysteine was specifically associated with constructional ability and information processing speed, whereas folate was associated specifically with episodic memory and language ability. Vitamin B-12 did not appear to be associated with any cognitive performance, but additional studies are warranted," the authors conclude.

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