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Table of Contents
Vol. 20, No. 2-3, 2005
Issue release date: August 2005
Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord 2005;20:57–62

Hyperhomocysteinemia Is Associated with Lower Performance on Memory Tasks in Post-Menopausal Women

Clark M.S. · Guthrie J.R. · Dennerstein L.
The Office for Gender and Health, Department of Psychiatry, University of Melbourne, Australia

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Increased levels of total homocysteine (tHcy) have been associated with lower performance on tests of cognitive function, and may be a potential preclinical marker for Alzheimer’s disease. Most reports have focused on older cohorts, but raised tHcy levels, in association with cognitive changes may be occurring in earlier years. Scores for verbal and working memory were compared to plasma homocysteine levels for 200 healthy women aged 56–67 (mean = 60). Smoking, hormone therapy and age were significantly associated with increased levels of tHcy, whilst vitamin B or folate supplements were significantly associated with lower tHcy levels. Hyperhomocysteinemia (>13 µmol/l) was significantly associated with poor performance for combined verbal and working memory, and there was a trend for hyperhomocysteinemia to be associated with the learning trials for 2 word lists, but not for the delayed trial. As hyperhomocysteinemia is associated with memory changes in women aged 56–67, it may be playing a role in the early dementia processes.

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