Low erythrocyte folate, but not plasma vitamin B-12, or homocysteine, is associated with dementia in elderly latinos

Alison K. Campbell, W. J. Jagust, Dan M Mungas, J. W. Miller, Ralph Green, M. N. Haan, L. H. Allen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


The relationship between B vitamin status and cognitive function has been of interest for many years. There is evidence of relationships between intake and status of folate and vitamin B-12 with neurological, cognitive, and memory impairment, but results have been inconsistent. Plasma B-12, erythrocyte folate, methylmalonic acid, and homocysteine were evaluated as predictors of cognitive function in a large population-based sample of Latino elderly living in the Sacramento, California region. The hypothesis tested was that low folate and/or B-12 status predicts cognitive function impairment and dementia. Logistic regression was used to examine the differences in B-vitamin status by cognitive function category. Erythrocyte folate was related to dementia after controlling for age, gender, education, income, diabetes diagnosis, serum creatinine, and depressive symptoms. The highest prevalence of low erythrocyte folate occurred in the Dementia group and was significantly higher than in the Normal group. Plasma B-12, MMA, Hcy, and prevalence of abnormal values for these variables, were not significantly different among the cognitive function classes. We conclude that folate status is associated with dementia but that more research is needed on the relationship between vitamin B-12 status, Hcy and cognitive function to explore possible associations with these parameters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-43
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Nutrition, Health and Aging
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2005


  • Cognition
  • Dementia
  • Elderly
  • Folate
  • Homocysteine
  • Vitamin B-12

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Aging
  • Endocrinology
  • Food Science


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