MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Babak Hooshmand, MD, PhD, MPH
Center for Alzheimer Research–Aging Research Center
Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
Department of Neurology, Klinikum Augsburg
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Dr. Hooshmand: Low and subnormal levels of vitamin B12 as well as high levels of homocysteine (a vascular risk factor and neurotoxic amino-acid associated with B12 deficiency) are common conditions in the elderly and are associated with a variety of disorders, including cardiovascular and cerebrovascular
conditions. Our study showed that over 6-year of follow-up, both low vitamin B12 status and high homocysteine levels are associated with accelerated brain atrophy in older adults, which precedes clinical dementia.
MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Dr. Hooshmand: Based on our findings, low and subnormal vitamin B12 status may be associated with accelerated brain aging, which precedes clinical dementia. Therefore, regular assessment of vitamin B12 status, including its functional indicators such as homocysteine and holotranscobalamin (vitamin B12 bound to transcobalamin which is taken up by most cells) is recommendable in elderly, especially in those who show (mild) signs and symptoms of such deficiency. Vitamin B12 supplementation could be recommended in those with the biochemical and clinical signs of the deficiency based on vitamin B12 status and the corresponding levels of its functional indicators.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Dr. Hooshmand: Randomized clinical trials to determine the importance of vitamin B12 supplementation on slowing brain aging in the elderly.
MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Dr. Hooshmand: Thanks for your interest in our study.
MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.
Hooshmand B, Mangialasche F, Kalpouzos G, et al. 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. Published online April 27, 2016. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2016.0274.
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