Although iron homeostasis is essential for brain functioning, the effects of iron levels on cognitive performance in older individuals have scarcely been investigated. In the present study, serum iron parameters and hemochromatosis (HFE) C282Y genotype were determined in 818 older individuals who participated in a 3-year randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial examining the effects of folic acid on carotid intima-media thickness. All participants had slightly elevated homocysteine levels and were vitamin B12 replete. Cognitive functioning was assessed at baseline and after 3 years by means of a neuropsychological test battery. At baseline, increased serum ferritin was associated with decreased sensorimotor speed, complex speed, and information processing speed, and increased serum iron was associated with decreased sensorimotor speed. Cognitive performance over 3 years was not associated with HFE C282Y genotype or iron parameters. In conclusion, serum iron parameters not show a straightforward relationship with cognitive functioning, although elevated iron levels may decrease cognitive speed in older individuals susceptible to cognitive impairment.
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||The Journals of gerontology. Series A, Biological sciences and medical sciences|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 2010|