This study, conducted at the Boston University School of Medicine, drew 1,092 participants from the landmark Framingham Heart study group. All of the participants had been assessed eight years earlier, during one of the regular Framingham Heart Study follow-up visits. At that time, all were determined to be free of dementia, and all had their homocysteine levels measured.
The researchers then assessed the group’s current status, both in terms of mental state and homocysteine levels. A committee of neurologists and neuropsychologists examined each participant; 111 were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. And when they compared prior and current homocysteine levels against those diagnoses, they came up with some very useful data.
Homocysteine is an amino acid that can be measured in a simple blood test. Most doctors consider a level of 12 micromoles per liter or less to be “normal.” In this study, the researchers found that for every five micromoles per liter increase in homocysteine levels, the risk of developing Alzheimer’s increased 40 percent. When homocysteine levels climbed in the highest quartile (greater than 14 micromoles per liter), the risk of developing AD or some other form of dementia DOUBLED.
The strongest association was found in participants who had high homocysteine levels at the earliest reading – a full eight years before dementia or AD was diagnosed – AND in the current reading as well. As the authors comment, “[these findings] …suggest that the elevation in the homocysteine level preceded the onset of dementia.” So keeping your homocysteine levels in check now may protect you from developing Alzheimer’s in the future.
What can you do NOW to lower your homocysteine level and decrease your risk of AD?
Homocysteine is considered one of the most important markers for cardiovascular disease – and more and more research is linking it with other diseases as well, including fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and, as this study supports, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
You can lower your homocysteine level – through supplementation with B6, B12 and folic acid. We have a wonderful product specifically formulated to lower homocysteine levels.
If you haven’t already, have your homocysteine levels checked NOW. If you find that your level is high, take steps immediately to correct it. We’ve known for awhile that it was a great step to protect your heart – now we know it’s a great way to protect your mind, as well.