A pilot study of vitamins to lower plasma homocysteine levels in Alzheimer disease

Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2003 Mar-Apr;11(2):246-9.


Objective: Authors determined the impact of high-dose vitamin supplements on plasma homocysteine levels in patients with Alzheimer disease (AD).

Methods: Authors used an open-label trial of folic acid, vitamin B(12), and vitamin B(6), in combination for 8 weeks, with measurement of plasma homocysteine levels in the fasting state and after methionine-loading. A total of 69 subjects with AD were enrolled, including 33 who were taking standard multivitamin supplements; 66 were available at 8-week follow-up.

Results: The high-dose vitamin regimen was associated with a significant reduction in fasting and post-methionine-loading homocysteine. Reductions were greater in the subgroup not using multivitamins, but were also significant in the multivitamin users.

Conclusion: High-dose vitamin supplementation reduces homocysteine levels in patients with AD. The effect of supplementation on rate of cognitive decline will be assessed later in a randomized, double-blind study.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Alzheimer Disease / diagnosis
  • Alzheimer Disease / metabolism*
  • Cognition Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Folic Acid / administration & dosage
  • Folic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Homocysteine / blood
  • Homocysteine / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Pilot Projects
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Vitamin B 12 / administration & dosage
  • Vitamin B 12 / pharmacology*
  • Vitamin B 6 / administration & dosage
  • Vitamin B 6 / pharmacology*


  • Homocysteine
  • Vitamin B 6
  • Folic Acid
  • Vitamin B 12