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Functional vitamin B12 deficiency and Alzheimer disease *

Moderately elevated total serum homocysteine is associated with an increased risk of atherothrombotic vascular events. Accordingly, serum homocysteine is increased in patients with vascular dementia but is also increased in clinically diagnosed and histologically confirmed AD. It is generally considered that homocysteine potentiates endothelial and neuronal oxidative injury in these diseases. A complementary model of oxidative stress–induced hyperhomocystinemia is proposed by the authors.

 The hypothesis accounts for several unusual features relating to single-carbon metabolism and AD, including the absence of macrocytic anemia in these patients. It is suggested that cerebral oxidative stress augments the oxidation of an intermediate form of vitamin B12 (cob[I]alamin) generated in the methionine synthase reaction, thereby impairing the metabolism of homocysteine. Oxidative stress also compromises the intraneuronal reduction of the vitamin to its metabolically active state. Currently available pharmaceutic forms of vitamin B12 are unlikely to be utilized by neurons under these conditions. Glutathionylcobalamin might be preferential for the treatment of such patients.

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As with any procedure, there could be pain or other substantial risks involved. These concerns should be discussed with your health care provider prior to any treatment so that you have proper informed consent and understand that there are no guarantees to healing.

THE INFORMATION IN THIS WEBSITE IS OFFERED FOR GENERAL EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT IMPLY OR GIVE MEDICAL ADVICE. No Doctor/Patient relationship shall be deemed to have arisen simply by reading the information contained on these pages, and you should consult with your personal physician/care giver regarding your medical treatment before undergoing any sort of treatment or therapy.

Published on 10-24-2007