Journal of Neural Transmission

, Volume 113, Issue 11, pp 1815–1819

Homocysteine but not neopterin declines in demented patients on B vitamins

  • B. Frick
  • B. Gruber
  • K. Schroecksnadel
  • F. Leblhuber
  • D. Fuchs
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00702-006-0539-x

Cite this article as:
Frick, B., Gruber, B., Schroecksnadel, K. et al. J Neural Transm (2006) 113: 1815. doi:10.1007/s00702-006-0539-x

Summary.

Inflammation and immune system activation seem to play an important role in the development and progression of dementia. Hyperhomocysteinemia is common in various forms of dementia, and a significant relationship was found between concentrations of homocysteine and immune activation marker neopterin. B vitamin supplementation is able to slow-down homocysteine formation in patients.

In an open-label study, effects of B vitamin supplementation (Beneuran compositum®) on concentrations of homocysteine and neopterin were investigated in 58 patients with Alzheimer’s disease (n = 30), vascular dementia (n = 12) and mild cognitive impairment (n = 16). In all groups of patients, a significant percentage of patients presented with homocysteine concentrations >15 µmol/L and with elevated concentrations of immune activation marker neopterin. Decline of homocysteine concentrations was observed after one month of B vitamin supplementation (all p < 0.01; paired Kruskal-Wallisn-test). By contrast, neopterin concentrations remained unchanged (all p > 0.05).

B vitamin supplementation in patients with various forms of dementia did not influence neopterin concentrations, which indicates that the degree of immune activation and inflammation remained unchanged. The question remains, if lowering of homocysteine by folate supplementation alone could have any beneficial effect to modulate the course of dementia development and if longer period of supplementation would also ameliorate immune system activation status.

Keywords: Homocysteine, neopterin, B vitamin supplementation, dementia 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. Frick
    • 1
    • 2
  • B. Gruber
    • 1
  • K. Schroecksnadel
    • 1
    • 2
  • F. Leblhuber
    • 3
  • D. Fuchs
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of Biological Chemistry, BiocentreInnsbruck Medical UniversityInnsbruckAustria
  2. 2.Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of AIDS-ResearchInnsbruckAustria
  3. 3.Department of GerontologyLandesnervenklinik Clinic Wagner-JaureggLinzAustria

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