Study: Amino acid linked to cognitive decline in older adults

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An amino acid that is tied to heart disease and stroke might be associated with lower mental functioning, according to new data. The study found that for people over 60, increasing levels of homocysteine in the blood were associated with decreasing levels of cognitive performance in several areas.

Higher blood levels of homocysteine in older people could be related to cognitive decline. Homocysteine can be lowered with folate and vitamins B6 and B12. The recent data suggests that B vitamin supplements may help prevent the mental deterioration.

The data comes from the Framingham Offspring Study, an ongoing survey tracking the health of successive generations living in Framingham, MA, community. Study results were released in the American Journal of Epidemiology.