Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Homocysteine: A Possible Risk Factor For Alzheimer's Disease

Date:
May 4, 1998
Source:
University Of Oxford
Summary:
Scientists at the Universities of Oxford, in the UK, and Bergen, Norway, have found an association between pathologically-confirmed Alzheimer's disease and moderately elevated blood levels of the amino acid, homocysteine. A moderate elevation in blood levels of homocysteine is a known risk factor for heart disease and stroke.

Scientists at the Universities of Oxford, in the UK, and Bergen, Norway, have found an association between pathologically-confirmed Alzheimer's disease and moderately elevated blood levels of the amino acid, homocysteine. A moderate elevation in blood levels of homocysteine is a known risk factor for heart disease and stroke.

Related Articles


Researchers found that 76 patients in the Oxford Project to Investigate Memory and Ageing (OPTIMA) who had pathologically-confirmed Alzheimer's disease had elevated blood levels of homocysteine and lower blood levels of folate and vitamin B12 (the vitamins which control homocysteine levels) than 108 age-matched control subjects.

These latest findings, which have yet to be published, were reported yesterday (Monday 27 April) in Nijmegen, Netherlands, at the second International Conference on Homocysteine Metabolism. However, the authors of the report, `Hyperhomocysteinemia: an independent risk factor for histopathologically-confirmed Alzheimer's disease - Professor David Smith, Dr R Clarke, Dr K A Jobst, Ms L Sutton, Professor P M Ueland, and Professor H Refsum - stressed that these biochemical changes in the blood could be a consequence, rather than a cause, of Alzheimer's disease, and that further work is required to distinguish between these two interpretations.

In particular, clinical trials over a number of years will be needed to determine if lowering homocysteine levels, by means of dietary supplementation with folic acid and vitamin B12, influences the development of Alzheimer's disease. Individuals should not take extra folic acid without consulting their doctor.

Profesor David Smith, Chairman of the Department of Pharmacology at Oxford and head of OPTIMA, said: `These findings are important because they provide a testable hypothesis that it may be possible to prevent or delay the progression of Alzheimer's disease in a proportion of potential sufferers. However, testing this hypothesis will require long and costly trials.'

A full paper describing the results of this study is being considered for publication in a medical journal, and no further details of the research will be issued until the date of publication.

The study has been supported by a long-term grant to the University of Oxford's Department of Pharmacology by Bristol-Myers Squibb Co, and to the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Bergen from the Norwegian Council on Cardiovascular Disease.

Since its foundation in 1988, OPTIMA has been conducting research into changes which occur in the brain as part of the ageing process. In revealing the differences between normal brain ageing and diseases like Alzheimer's disease, OPTIMA aims to lay the foundations for the development of new forms of prevention and treatment.

The project's work was examined in two hour-long documentaries, `Assault on the Mind', shown on Channel 4 in the UK on April 21 and 28. The programme outlined the methods and main achievements of OPTIMA, including:

* Development of an accurate diagnostic procedure for Alzheimer's disease in life by a combination of structural and functional brain imaging.

* Discovery of a biological `state' marker, the thickness of the medial temporal lobe, that can be used to follow the progression of Alzheimer's disease.

Notes to editors: No interviews or further comments will be given by members of the OPTIMA team until publication of the full paper. More details about OPTIMA's research are available on the OPTIMA website at http://www.pharm.ox.ac.uk/optima.htm

Any additional queries should be addressed to the University Press Office on 01865 278181/2/3.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Oxford. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Oxford. "Homocysteine: A Possible Risk Factor For Alzheimer's Disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 May 1998. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/05/980504125421.htm>.
University Of Oxford. (1998, May 4). Homocysteine: A Possible Risk Factor For Alzheimer's Disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 30, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/05/980504125421.htm
University Of Oxford. "Homocysteine: A Possible Risk Factor For Alzheimer's Disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/05/980504125421.htm (accessed March 30, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, March 30, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Soda, Salt and Sugar: The Next Generation of Taxes

Soda, Salt and Sugar: The Next Generation of Taxes

Washington Post (Mar. 30, 2015) — Denisa Livingston, a health advocate for the Dinι Community Advocacy Alliance, and the Post&apos;s Abby Phillip discuss efforts around the country to make unhealthy food choices hurt your wallet as much as your waistline. Video provided by Washington Post
Powered by NewsLook.com
UnitedHealth Buys Catamaran

UnitedHealth Buys Catamaran

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 30, 2015) — The $12.8 billion merger will combine the U.S.&apos; third and fourth largest pharmacy benefit managers. Analysts say smaller PBMs could also merge. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

AFP (Mar. 28, 2015) — Sierra Leone imposed a three-day nationwide lockdown Friday for the second time in six months in a bid to prevent a resurgence of the deadly Ebola virus. Duration: 01:17 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

Newsy (Mar. 27, 2015) — A popular class of antibiotic can leave patients in severe pain and even result in permanent nerve damage. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins