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Archives of Clinical Psychiatry (São Paulo)
Print version ISSN 0101-6083
ALMEIDA, Cesar C.; BRENTANI, Helena P.; FORLENZA, Orestes V. and DINIZ, Breno S.. Serum folic acid is reduced in patients with Alzheimer's disease. Rev. psiquiatr. clín. [online]. 2012, vol.39, n.3, pp. 90-93. ISSN 0101-6083. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0101-60832012000300004.
BACKGROUND: Complex B vitamin deficiency has been associated to cognitive impairment and dementing disorders in the elderly. OBJECTIVE: This work aims to assess whether patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) have lower levels of folic acid and cobalamin (vitamin B12) compared to age and gender-matched controls. METHODS: One hundred and forty six elderly subjects (40 AD, 56 MCI and 49 healthy older adults) were recruited for this study. Serum folic acid and vitamin B12 levels were measured by electrochemoluminescence. RESULTS: Compared to MCI and healthy controls a statistically significant reduction in serum concentrations of folic acid in AD patients was found (p = 0.02). This result remained statistically significant after controlling for socio-demographic and cognitive performance variables (p = 0.01). No significant differences were found in serum concentrations of vitamin B12 in patients with AD, MCI and healthy controls. No significant changes in hematologic parameters were observed across these diagnostic groups. DISCUSSION: The present study provides additional evidence that folic acid is reduced in patients with AD and reinforces the importance of nutritional changes, in particular the one-carbon metabolism, in the physiopathology of AD.
Keywords : Folic acid; vitamin B12; Alzheimer's disease; nutritional factors; one-carbon metabolism.