OLDER people with depression may also experience trouble with mental function according to new research that has linked higher levels of homocysteine in depression sufferers with reduced cognitive function.
The answer, according to lead author and UWA’s Andrew Ford could be as simple as taking vitamin B supplements to reduce homocysteine levels in the body.
The Western Australian Centre for Health & Ageing and Centre for Medical Research study looked at how higher levels of the non-essential amino acid homocysteine is associated with inefficient cognitive function in people with depressive symptoms.
Researchers used data from an existing study of 358 older adults with a range of depressive symptoms along the Montgomery Asberg Depression Rating Scale and compared their mini-mental state examination test results to their homocysteine levels.
Cognitive inefficiency was almost doubled in participants with high homocysteine while those with major depression and high homocysteine had significantly worse immediate verbal and delayed visual recall.