February 01, 2016

Homocysteine, Rate Of Memory Decline And Dementia

Biological Gradients:

In considering causality, Sir Bradford Hill commented that a clear 'dose-response' curve between a suspected environmental factor and a particular disease suggests that the factor is a cause of the disease. In the case of homocysteine then, is there any link between the level of homocysteine and the rate of memory decline?

Dose-responses:

There is a clear dose-response relationship between homocysteine and the rate of cognitive decline. In patients with established Alzheimer's Disease, the higher their blood levels of homocysteine the faster their cognitive decline over a 10-year period.

Other studies also show a relationship between homocysteine levels and rate of decline in individuals with mild cognitive impairment (MCI).  And, there are even reports of a link between homocysteine levels and rate of decline in healthy elderly individuals.

A clear gradation of risk:

So, we can say that with regard to Bradford Hill criteria for causality, the association between homocysteine, cognitive decline and dementia shows a clear gradation of risk.

 

In our next Blog Update we will consider how 'plausible' the link is between homocysteine and dementia.

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