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.
- Cognitive performance