Serum iron parameters, HFE C282Y genotype, and cognitive performance in older adults: results from the FACIT study

Olga Schiepers, Martin Van Boxtel, Renate De Groot, Jelle Jolles, Wim De Kort, Dorine Swinkels, Frans Kok, Petra Verhoef, Jane Durga

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    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.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1312-1321
    Number of pages10
    JournalThe Journals of gerontology. Series A, Biological sciences and medical sciences
    Volume65A
    Issue number12
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010

    Keywords

    • iron
    • cognition

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