Date: 02 Mar 2012

Homocysteine and cognition in first-episode psychosis patients

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In the last years, there has been growing evidence linking elevated homocysteine levels with cognitive dysfunction in several neurological and neuropsychiatric diseases. The aim of the present study was to investigate the potential relationship between elevated homocysteine levels and cognitive deficits in first-episode psychosis patients. Plasma levels and cognitive performance of 139 patients and 99 healthy volunteers were compared. Patients were classified as elevated homocysteine (>90 percentile for controls) and normal and compared on 22 cognitive outcome measures grouped into cognitive domains known to be impaired in schizophrenia. Patients had a statistically significant increase in plasmatic homocysteine levels. In addition, they presented with significantly increased cognitive deficits. However, no relationship between homocysteine levels and cognitive impairment was detected. These results suggest the need for further studies to clarify the role of homocysteine in the etiology and prognosis of psychosis.