Homocysteine as a potential biochemical marker for depression in elderly stroke survivors

  • Michaela C. Pascoe Brain Sciences Institute, Swinburne University
  • Sheila G. Crewther
  • Leeanne M. Carey
  • Kate Noonan
  • David P. Crewther
  • Thomas Linden
Keywords: Depression, Ischemia, Nutrition, Neurodegeneration, Geriatric.


Background: Elderly stroke survivors have been reported to be at risk of malnutrition and depression. Vitamin B-related metabolites such as methylmalonic acid and homocysteine have been implicated in depression. Objective: We conducted a study exploring the relationship between homocysteine and post-stroke depression. Design: Three methodologies were used: Observational cohort study of elderly Swedish patients (n=149) 1.5 years post-stroke, assessed using Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Montgomery Åsberg Depression Rating Scale and serum blood levels of methylmalonic acid and homocysteine. Results: Homocysteine significantly correlated with depressive symptomatology in stroke survivors (β=0.18*). Individuals with abnormal levels of methylmalonic acid and homocysteine were almost twice more likely to show depressive symptomatology than those with normal levels (depressive symptoms 22%; no depressive symptoms 12%). Comparison of methylmalonic acid and homocysteine levels with literature data showed fewer stroke survivors had vitamin deficiency than did reference individuals (normal range 66%; elevated 34%). Conclusions: Homocysteine is significantly associated with depressive symptomatology in elderly Swedish stroke survivors.

Keywords: depression; ischemia; nutrition; neurodegeneration; geriatric

(Published: 11 April 2012)

Citation: Food & Nutrition Research 2012. 56: 14973 - DOI: 10.3402/fnr.v56i0.14973


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How to Cite
Pascoe M. C., Crewther S. G., Carey L. M., Noonan K., Crewther D. P., & Linden T. (2012). Homocysteine as a potential biochemical marker for depression in elderly stroke survivors. Food & Nutrition Research. https://doi.org/10.3402/fnr.v56i0.14973
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