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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Boston, Massachusetts » Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #341072

Research Project: Nutrition, Brain, and Aging

Location: Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging

Title: B vitamins influence vascular cognitive impairment

Author
item Scott, Tammy - Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging At Tufts University
item D'anci, Kristen - Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging At Tufts University
item Rosenberg, Irwin - Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging At Tufts University

Submitted to: Preventive Nutrition: The Comprehensive Guide for Health Professionals
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/1/2016
Publication Date: 1/1/2017
Citation: Scott, T., D'Anci, K.E., Rosenberg, I.H. 2017. B vitamins influence vascular cognitive impairment. In: Bendich, A., Deckelbaum, R.J., editors. Preventive Nutrition: The Comprehensive Guide for Health Professionals. 5th edition. Basel, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing. p. 309-318.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: As the number of elderly in the USA and globally continues to increase, age-related neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia, are a growing concern. The loss of memory, emotional changes, and impairments in general cognitive functioning frequently result in social isolation, loss of independence, and institutionalization. However, cognitive decline is not an inevitable consequence of growing old. Indeed, although some forms of cognitive disorders may have a genetic component, cognitive decline is also influenced by nutritional factors and may be secondary to nutritionally mediated conditions such as diabetes or vascular disease. As such, there is a strong need to identify modifiable nutritional factors that regulate the proper maintenance of brain function to facilitate healthy aging. The relationship between diet and vascular disease is well established. The nutritional foundation of cardiovascular disease prevention is a diet high in fruits and vegetables and fiber and low in saturated fat. One of the prevailing risk factors for cardio- and cerebrovascular disease is elevated blood levels of homocysteine. Plasma homocysteine may be considered a functional indicator of B vitamin status, including that of folate and vitamin B12 and, to a lesser extent, vitamin B6. High plasma homocysteine concentrations can be largely attributed to inadequate status of these vitamins. Data from several laboratories indicate that plasma homocysteine increases with age independent of vitamin status and that hyperhomocysteinemia is highly prevalent in the elderly. Several studies have shown consistent and strong relationships between homocysteine concentration, heart disease, and other vascular outcomes including cerebrovascular disease.