Abstract

Background: Dementia, and in particular Alzheimer’s disease (AD), is a debilitating progressive disease with high prevalence in our society. Vitamin B12 and folate deficiency are potential modifiable risk factors. However, previous studies reported inconsistent results.

Results: The average concentrations of all biochemical markers were within the respective reference ranges. Cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses did not reveal significant associations between biochemical markers and cognitive function, global or regional brain volume, cortical thickness or cortical surface area, neither in controls nor in AD patients.

Conclusions: Variations of direct and indirect markers of B12 and folate status are not associated with cognitive dysfunction and brain atrophy.

Methods: This retrospective study explored the association between biochemical markers of B12 and folate status, cognitive function and MRI-based brain atrophy in cognitive normal elderly (controls) and AD patients. Folate, total and active vitamin B12 and MMA were measured in blood samples from 378 controls and 217 AD patients. Neuropsychiatric tests capturing memory, executive function and visuopractical skills were performed in all participants. Brain atrophy was assessed by MRI in 155 controls and 217 AD patients. In a subset of participants cognitive testing (n=234) and MRI (n=182) was repeated after an average median between 1.25 and 6.25 years.