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Low vitamin B-12 status in confirmed Alzheimer`s disease as revealed by serum holotranscobalamin

Objective: To examine the possible association of holotranscobalamin, the active fraction of serum cobalamin, with Alzheimer`s disease.

Methods: 51 patients with pathologically confirmed Alzheimer’s disease and 65 cognitively screened elderly controls were studied. Serum holotranscobalamin was measured by a new solid phase radioimmunoassay.

Results: Geometric mean levels showed no significant case–control differences for serum total cobalamin, but lower levels of holotranscobalamin in Alzheimer`s disease (41.1 pmol/l) than in controls (57.1 pmol/l) (p < 0.001). The odds ratio of Alzheimer`s disease was significant for low holotranscobalamin but not for low total cobalamin.

Conclusions: Disturbed cobalamin status is common in Alzheimer`s disease and accordingly measurement of holotranscobalamin should be considered in the assessment of cognitively impaired patients.