B vitamins, homocysteine, and neurocognitive function in the elderly

Jacob Selhub, Laura C. Bagley, Joshua Miller, Irwin H. Rosenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

331 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Evidence of the importance of the B vitamins folic acid, vitamin B-12, and vitamin B-6 for the well-being and normal function of the brain derives from data showing neurologic and psychologic dysfunction in vitamin deficiency states and in cases of congenital defects of one-carbon metabolism. The status of these vitamins is frequently inadequate in the elderly and recent studies have shown associations between loss of cognitive function or Alzheimer disease and inadequate B vitamin status. The question that arises is whether these B vitamin inadequacies contribute to such brain malfunctions or result from aging and disease. From a theoretical standpoint, these inadequacies could give rise to impairment of methylation reactions that are crucial to the health of brain tissue. In addition or perhaps instead, these inadequacies could result in hyperhomocysteinemia, a recently identified risk factor for occlusive vascular disease, stroke, and thrombosis, any of which may result in brain ischemia. Advances in the understanding of this putative relation between inadequate vitamin status and loss of cognitive function in the elderly are likely to be slow and may depend on the outcomes of both prospective studies and longitudinal studies in which nutritional intervention is provided before cognitive decline occurs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Volume71
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2000
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Vitamin B Complex
vitamin B complex
homocysteine
Homocysteine
brain
cognition
Vitamins
Cognition
Brain
vitamin deficiencies
Avitaminosis
Hyperhomocysteinemia
vascular diseases
Vitamin B 6
nutritional intervention
thrombosis
pyridoxine
vitamin B12
Vitamin B 12
Alzheimer disease

Keywords

  • Aging
  • Alzheimer disease
  • B vitamins
  • Brain
  • Cognitive decline
  • Cognitive function
  • Dementia
  • Elderly
  • Folate
  • Folic acid
  • Homocysteine
  • Hyperhomocysteinemia
  • Vitamin B- 6
  • Vitamin B-12

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Food Science

Cite this

Selhub, J., Bagley, L. C., Miller, J., & Rosenberg, I. H. (2000). B vitamins, homocysteine, and neurocognitive function in the elderly. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 71(2).

B vitamins, homocysteine, and neurocognitive function in the elderly. / Selhub, Jacob; Bagley, Laura C.; Miller, Joshua; Rosenberg, Irwin H.

In: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 71, No. 2, 02.2000.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Selhub, J, Bagley, LC, Miller, J & Rosenberg, IH 2000, 'B vitamins, homocysteine, and neurocognitive function in the elderly', American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vol. 71, no. 2.
Selhub, Jacob ; Bagley, Laura C. ; Miller, Joshua ; Rosenberg, Irwin H. / B vitamins, homocysteine, and neurocognitive function in the elderly. In: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2000 ; Vol. 71, No. 2.
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