, Volume 112, Issue 11, pp 1591-1598

Cognitive impairment and its association with homocysteine plasma levels in females with eating disorders – findings from the HEaD-study

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Higher plasma homocysteine levels have been found in females with anorexia nervosa. Furthermore, elevated homocysteine levels are associated with cognitive decline in dementia and healthy elderly people. Aim of this prospective study was to investigate a possible association between homocysteine serum levels and Clinically well known cognitive deficits in females with eating disorders. We found that moderately elevated plasma homocysteine levels were associated with normal short- and long-term verbal memory while normal plasma homocysteine levels were associated with poorer memory performance in 14 females with anorexia nervosa and 12 females with bulimia nervosa (logistic forward regression Wald χ2 = 8.566, OR = 24.75, CI 2.89 − 212.23, P = 0.003). These results indicate that under the special circumstances of eating disorders elevated homocysteine levels improve memory signaling possibly by facilitating long-term potentiation.