Individuals with increased levels of circulating homocysteine have faster rates of brain changes associated with aging than other people, whereas higher levels of vitamin B12 are associated with slower rates of brain aging, according to new research by Hooshmand and colleagues. They suggest that vitamin B12, folate, and sulfur amino acids may be modifiable risk factors for structural brain changes that precede clinical dementia. Clinical trials on vitamin B supplementation are useful areas for future research.
Magnetic resonance imaging was conducted in 501 subjects aged 60 years or older who were free of dementia at baseline. A total of 299 participants underwent repeated structural brain magnetic resonance imaging scans from September 17, 2001, to December 17, 2009.The rate of brain tissue volume loss and the progression of total white matter hyperintensity volume were measured. .
Hooshmand B, Mangialasche F, Kalpouzos G, Solomon A, Kåreholt I, Smith D, Refsum H, Wang R, Mühlmann M, Ertl-Wagner B, Jonsson Laukka E,Bäckman L, Fratiglioni L, Kivipelto M: Association of Vitamin B12, Folate, and Sulfur Amino Acids With Brain Magnetic Resonance Imaging Measures in Older Adults: A Longitudinal Population-Based Study. JAMA Psychiatry[Epub ahead of print, April 27, 2016. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2016.0274].