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Effects of folic acid supplementation on psychomotor performance and hemorheology in healthy elderly subjects

Pathansali, R., Mangoni, A.A., Creagh-Brown, Ben, Lan, Z.-C., Ngow, G.-L., Yuan, X.-F., Ouldred, E.L., Sherwood, R.A., Swift, C.G. and Jackson, S.H.D. (2006) Effects of folic acid supplementation on psychomotor performance and hemorheology in healthy elderly subjects Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics, 43 (1). pp. 127-137.

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Cognitive impairment is associated with increased blood concentrations of homocysteine and high blood viscosity. Previous studies have shown that vitamin B supplementation reduces homocysteine and enhances cognitive function in patients with mild dementia and low serum folic acid. However, whether folic acid enhances cognitive function in elderly subjects without dementia and normal serum folic acid is unknown. Twenty-four healthy elderly subjects (age 73.0+/-5.6 years, mean+/-S.D.) with normal serum folic acid (6.3+/-2.4 microg/l) and Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) >27/30 were randomized to 4-week treatment with folic acid 5mg/day or placebo in a randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study. Continuous Attention Test (CAT), Four-Choice Reaction Time (FCRT), Digit-Symbol Substitution (DSS), Scanning Memory Sets (SMS), and blood viscosity for different shear rates were measured before and after treatment. Folic acid supplementation induced a significant increase in serum folic acid levels (+13.8 versus +1.6 microg/l, p<0.001) and fall in homocysteine levels (-1.91 versus -0.41 micromol/l, p=0.05) compared to placebo. However, there was no significant change in CAT, FCRT, DSS, SMS, and blood viscosity between the two groups. Short-term folic acid supplementation does not enhance psychomotor performance or reduce blood viscosity in healthy elderly subjects with normal serum folic acid levels and preserved cognitive function.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Biosciences and Medicine
Authors :
Pathansali, R.
Mangoni, A.A.
Lan, Z.-C.
Ngow, G.-L.
Yuan, X.-F.
Ouldred, E.L.
Sherwood, R.A.
Swift, C.G.
Jackson, S.H.D.
Date : July 2006
DOI : 10.1016/j.archger.2005.10.002
Uncontrolled Keywords : Folic acid; Homocysteine; Psychomotor performance; Hemorheology
Additional Information : No further action
Depositing User : Clive Harris
Date Deposited : 25 Mar 2019 15:26
Last Modified : 25 Mar 2019 15:26

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