J Korean Geriatr Psychiatry.  2009 Dec;13(2):83-90.

Correlation of Plasma Homocysteien and Folate Levels with White Matter Changes in Alzheimer's Disease Patients

  • 1Department of Neuropsychiatry, Soonchunhyang University Bucheon Hospital, Bucheon, Korea.


To explore the relationship of white matter changes (WMC) on magnetic resornance imaging (MRI) with plasma homocysteine and folate levels in Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients.
Forty-one patients with probable AD were evaluated on WMC on brain MRI, plasma homocysteine and folate levels, and cerebrovascular risk factors. Subjects were divided into two groups according to WMC scores (lower group with < 5 and higher group with > or = 5). WMC were assessed by a scale of the European Task Force on Age-Related WMC.
Plasma homocysteine levels were correlated with right frontal WMC and have a tendency of correlation with left frontal WMC. When subjects were divided into two groups: higher plasma homocysteine group (> or = 14 micronmol/L) and lower plasma homocysteine group (< 14 micronmol/L), the former was significantly higher than the latter in both frontal WMC. In a logistic regression analysis, higher plasma homocysteine were not a significant risk factor for higher WMC. Increasing age was a only significant risk factor for higher WMC and correlated with both frontal WMC. There was no relationship folate with any WMC.
It is possible that plasma homocysteine levels have a region-specific correlation with frontal WMC in AD. However, it is important that effect of age on the relationship should be considered.


White matter changes; Homocysteine; Alzheimer's disease
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