US scientists have found further evidence that an amino acid implicated in stroke is also linked to Alzheimer’s disease, suggesting that cheap and widely available supplements could help prevent it.
The research, to be announced at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology in Hawaii next month, suggests that homocysteine affects the brain decades before people develop obvious symptoms of dementia.
Already, strong evidence links homocysteine with heart disease, deep-vein thrombosis and stroke.
For the new study, researchers performed MRI scans on more than 1,000 apparently healthy people between 50 and 70, says neurology professor Philip Wolf from Boston University School of Medicine.
“It turned out that those who had the higher homocysteine levels six or eight years ago had the smaller brain volumes and performed less well in tests.”