Homocysteine and cognitive function in very elderly nondemented subjects

Rebecca K. West, Michal Schnaider Beeri, James Schmeidler, Dara B. Mitchell, Katherine R. Carlisle, Gary Angelo, Rizalina Mavris, Erik Langhoff, Clive Rosendorff, Jeremy M. Silverman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES:: To examine the association of homocysteine with cognitive functioning in very elderly community-dwelling individuals (80 years or older). Methods: Two hundred twenty-eight nondemented community-dwelling individuals were assessed with a broad neuropsychological battery. Bloods were drawn to measure homocysteine, serum vitamin B12, and folate levels and APOE genotype. Results: Higher homocysteine levels were associated with poorer executive-language functioning scores (r =-0.311). The association persisted when serum B12 and folate levels were controlled for (r =-0.308). Homocysteine levels were not associated with memory score (r = 0.120). Conclusions: In very elderly, nondemented community dwellers, high homocysteine levels are associated with poorer executive-language functioning but not with memory. This possible differential effect of homocysteine on cognitive functions suggests that it may affect only specific brain regions or mechanisms underlying healthy executive functioning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)673-677
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2011


  • Cognitive performance
  • dementia
  • homocysteine


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