Description: Dementia is prevalent among elderly people. As the world population ages, it is projected that the number of people affected by dementia may triple in the next 50 years. Over the last two decades, research has focused on identifying potentially modifiable risk factors in development and progression of dementia, such as vitamin B12 and folate. Results concerning the effects of low folate and vitamin B12 on cognitive performance are mixed. The main objective of the present study was to investigate the effects of vitamin deficiency on cognitive functioning in a clinical sample of elderly individuals with cognitive problems using a comprehensive neuropsychological assessment. A retrospective chart-review was performed on the 102 records of patients from the Geriatrics Clinic at the University of North Texas Health Science Center who presented with cognitive deficits. Charts were reviewed to obtain data on vitamin supplementation, vitamin status, history of chronic conditions and other biochemical data. The available database was used to obtain data on neuropsychological assessment. The study demonstrated mild association between vitamin B12 and folate status and cognitive deficits. There appeared to be a higher cut-off level that is above the traditionally used levels for vitamin B12 and folate deficiency concentrations at which cognitive deficits became more pronounced. Clinical applications, limitations and suggestions for future research were discussed.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Serova, Svetlana