Homocysteine effects on brain volumes mapped in 732 elderly individuals

Priya Rajagopalan, Xue Hua, Arthur W. Toga, Clifford R. Jack, Michael W. Weiner, Paul M. Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Elevated homocysteine levels are a known risk factor for Alzheimer's disease and vascular disorders. Here we applied tensor-based morphometry to brain magnetic resonance imaging scans of 732 elderly individuals from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative study, to determine associations between homocysteine and brain atrophy. Those with higher homocysteine levels showed greater frontal, parietal, and occipital white matter atrophy in the entire cohort, irrespective of diagnosis, age, or sex. This association was also found when considering mild cognitive impairment individuals separately. Vitamin B supplements, such as folate, may help prevent homocysteine-related atrophy in Alzheimer's disease by possibly reducing homocysteine levels. These atrophy profiles may, in the future, offer a potential biomarker to gauge the efficacy of interventions using dietary folate supplementation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)391-395
Number of pages5
Issue number8
StatePublished - Jun 11 2011


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • atrophy
  • brain structure
  • folate
  • homocysteine
  • magnetic resonance imaging
  • vitamin B

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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