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Homocysteine-lowering vitamin B supplements do not improve cognitive performance in healthy older adults after two years

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Q Does reducing plasma homocysteine concentration result in improved cognitive function in older adults?


Embedded ImageDesign:

Randomised controlled trial.

Embedded ImageAllocation:


Embedded ImageBlinding:

Double blind.

Embedded ImageFollow up period:

Two years.

Embedded ImageSetting:

Dunedin, New Zealand; August 2002 to December 2004.

Embedded ImagePatients:

276 adults aged 65 years and older with a fasting homocysteine concentration ⩾13 μmol/l and normal plasma creatinine (⩽115 μmol/l in women and ⩽133 μmol/l in men). Main exclusions: suspected dementia; medications that interfere with folate metabolism; vitamin supplementation; treatment for depression.

Embedded ImageIntervention:

Daily oral vitamin B supplement (1000 μg folate, 500 μg vitamin B12, 10 mg vitamin B6) or placebo.

Embedded ImageOutcomes:

Cognitive function (individual scores and combined effect size for: Mini-Mental State Examination, Weschler Paragraph Recall Test, Category …

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  • For correspondence: Dr C M Skeaff, Department of Human Nutrition, University of Otago, PO Box 56, Dunedin, New Zealand; murray.skeaff{at}

  • Source of funding: Otago Research Grant; Merck Eprova provided vitamin and placebo capsules.

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