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Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (CCLM)

Published in Association with the European Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (EFLM)

Editor-in-Chief: Plebani, Mario

Ed. by Gillery, Philippe / Greaves, Ronda / Lackner, Karl J. / Lippi, Giuseppe / Melichar, Bohuslav / Payne, Deborah A. / Schlattmann, Peter


IMPACT FACTOR 2018: 3.638

CiteScore 2018: 2.44

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Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 1.205

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1437-4331
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Volume 43, Issue 10

Issues

Homocysteine in relation to cognitive performance in pathological and non-pathological conditions

Charlotte E. Teunissen
  • Department of Molecular Cell Biology and Immunology, Amsterdam, and VUmc Medical Center Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
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/ Martin P. J. van Boxtel
  • Department of Psychiatry and Neuropsychology, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands
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/ Jellemer Jolles
  • Department of Psychiatry and Neuropsychology, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands
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/ Jan de Vente
  • Department of Psychiatry and Neuropsychology, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands
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/ Fred Vreeling / Frans Verhey / Chris H. Polman / Christine D. Dijkstra
  • Department of Molecular Cell Biology and Immunology, Amsterdam, and VUmc Medical Center Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
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/ Henk J. Blom
  • Laboratory of Pediatrics and Neurology, University Medical Center Nijmegen, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
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Published Online: 2011-09-21 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/CCLM.2005.190

Abstract

Elevated serum homocysteine has been associated with increased risk of Alzheimer's disease. Furthermore, elevated homocysteine levels are related to cognitive dysfunction in the elderly. The aim of the present study was to explore the disease specificity of the relation between serum total homocysteine levels and cognitive function. For this, we summarize data from several studies on homocysteine levels in both normal and pathological conditions performed in our laboratories and evaluate possible mechanisms of effects of elevated homocysteine levels in the central nervous system. Total homocysteine levels were measured in serum of: 1) healthy aging individuals; 2) patients with Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease and patients with other cognitive disorders; and 3) patients with multiple sclerosis. Increased serum homocysteine concentration was related to worse cognitive performance over a 6-year period in the normal aging population (r=−0.36 to −0.14, p<0.01 for the Word learning tests; r=0.76, p<0.05 for the Stroop Colored Word test). Homocysteine was only increased in patients with Parkinson's disease on L-Dopa therapy (18.9 vs. 16.5μmol/L in healthy controls), and not in dementia patients. Homocysteine was elevated in patients with progressive multiple sclerosis (15.0μmol/L, n=39, compared to 12.0 μmol/L in 45 controls) and correlated to both cognitive and motor function (r=−0.33 and −0.33, p<0.05, respectively). The relationship between homocysteine and cognitive function in non-pathological and pathological situations indicates that changes in its levels may play a role in cognitive functioning in a broad spectrum of conditions.

Keywords: aging; cognition; dementia; homocysteine; multiple sclerosis

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About the article

Corresponding author: Dr. Charlotte E. Teunissen, Molecular Cell Biology and Immunology, VU University Medical Center, FdG, P.O. Box 7057, 1007 MB Amsterdam, The Netherlands Phone: +31-20-4448076, Fax: +31-20-4448081,


Published Online: 2011-09-21

Published in Print: 2005-10-01


Citation Information: Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (CCLM), Volume 43, Issue 10, Pages 1089–1095, ISSN (Online) 1437-4331, ISSN (Print) 1434-6621, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/CCLM.2005.190.

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