, Volume 116, Issue 12, pp 1651-1656
Date: 07 Oct 2009

Elevated serum homocysteine level is not associated with serum C-reactive protein in patients with probable Alzheimer’s disease

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Abstract

Elevated plasma homocysteine (Hcy) levels have been associated with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and cognitive impairment. Studies have shown that Hcy may have direct and indirect neurotoxicity effects. The aim of the study was to investigate serum Hcy concentration in patients with probable AD with age-matched controls and to determine whether there was an association between serum Hcy and C-reactive protein concentration in patients with probable AD. We also aimed to determine whether there was an association between serum tHcy concentration and cognitive impairment in patients with probable AD. Serum concentration of total Hcy was determined by the fluorescence polarization immunoassay on the AxSYM system, and serum C-reactive protein (CRP) concentration was determined by means of particle-enhanced immunonephelometry with the use of BN II analyzer. Cognitive impairment was tested by the MMSE score. Body mass index (BMI) was calculated for each subject included in the study. Age, systolic and diastolic blood pressure and BMI did not differ significantly between the two groups. Mean serum tHcy concentration in the control group of subjects was 12.60 μmol/L, while in patients with probable AD the mean serum tHcy concentration was significantly higher than 16.15 μmol/L (p < 0.01). A significant negative association between serum tHcy concentration and cognitive impairment tested by the MMSE score in patients with probable AD was determined (r = −0.61634; p < 0.001). Positive, although not significant correlation between CRP and serum tHcy concentrations in patients with AD, was observed. Increased tHcy concentration in patients with probable AD, and the established negative correlation between serum tHcy concentration and cognitive damage tested by MMSE score in the same group of patients, suggests the possible independent role of Hcy in the pathogenesis of AD and cognitive impairment associated with this disease.