This study examines the relationship between folate, vitamin B12 and severity of cognitive impairment in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) as compared with other disorders associated with cognitive impairment. The patients were 97 consecutive referrals to an AD clinic. Forty patients had either possible or probable AD, 31 had other dementias (OD) and 26 had mild cognitive impairment (cognitively impaired, not demented; CIND). Patients had blood drawn for serum, red cell folate and B12, as well as other biochemical indicators of nutrition, within 24 h of the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE). In the AD group, only B12 was significantly correlated with MMSE. Using regression analysis, B12 contributed significantly to variance in MMSE. There was no correlation between MMSE and serum, red cell folate or B12 in the OD or CIND group and no significant correlation between MMSE and other nutritional indices in any group. These findings suggest the possibility of a specific relationship between B12 levels and severity of cognitive impairment in patients with AD.
Source: ACTA PSYCHIATR. SCAND. (Denmark), 1992, 86/4 (301-305)