Hyperhomocysteinaemia--a common finding in a psychogeriatric population

Eur J Clin Invest. 1996 Oct;26(10):853-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2362.1996.tb02129.x.


Plasma homocysteine concentration is a sensitive marker for cobalamin and folate deficiency. The previously reported high incidence of increased plasma homocysteine in psychogeriatric patients and the association between reduced concentrations of cobalamin, folate and neuropsychiatric symptoms led to the present study on 741 consecutive psychogeriatric patients. The concentrations of plasma homocysteine correlated significantly with blood folate, serum cobalamin and serum creatinine both in demented (n = 295) and in non-demented patients with other psychiatric disorders (n = 215). Plasma homocysteine concentrations were significantly increased in both the demented and the non-demented patients, whereas only the demented patients had lower blood folate and serum creatinine concentrations than 163 control subjects. Almost all of the different diagnostic groups of demented and non-demented patients exhibited significantly increased plasma homocysteine concentrations compared with control subjects. Significantly decreased blood folate concentrations were mainly found in the different diagnosis groups of demented patients. Plasma homocysteine concentrations in both demented and non-demented patients with serum cobalamin and blood folate above the lower 20th percentile of these vitamins in the control subjects were also studied. Despite these vitamin concentrations, both groups of patients still exhibited significantly higher plasma homocysteine concentrations than the control subjects, which may indicate an increased frequency of impaired genetic capacity to metabolize homocysteine in these patients. Patients with either dementia of vascular cause or a history of other occlusive arterial disease had a significantly higher plasma homocysteine concentration than those without a history of vascular disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Dementia / blood*
  • Female
  • Folic Acid / blood
  • Homocysteine / blood*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Vascular Diseases / etiology
  • Vitamin B 12 / blood


  • Homocysteine
  • Folic Acid
  • Vitamin B 12