Greater intake of vitamins B6 and B12 spares gray matter in healthy elderly: A voxel-based morphometry study

Kirk I. Erickson, Barbara L. Suever, Ruchika Shaurya Prakash, Stanley J. Colcombe, Edward McAuley, Arthur F. Kramer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Previous studies have reported that high concentrations of homocysteine and lower concentrations of vitamins B6, B12, and folate increase the risk for cognitive decline and pathology in aging populations. In this cross-sectional study, high resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans and a 3-day food diary were collected on 32 community-dwelling adults between the ages of 59 and 79. We examined the relation between vitamins B6, B12, and folate intake on cortical volume using an optimized voxel-based morphometry (VBM) method and global gray and white matter volume after correcting for age, sex, body mass index, calorie intake, and education. All participants met or surpassed the recommended daily intake for these vitamins. In the VBM analysis, we found that adults with greater vitamin B6 intake had greater gray matter volume along the medial wall, anterior cingulate cortex, medial parietal cortex, middle temporal gyrus, and superior frontal gyrus, whereas people with greater B12 intake had greater volume in the left and right superior parietal sulcus. These effects were driven by vitamin supplementation and were negated when only examining vitamin intake from diet. Folate had no effect on brain volume. Furthermore, there was no relationship between vitamins B6, B12, or folate intake on global brain volume measures, indicating that VBM methods are more sensitive for detecting localized differences in gray matter volume than global measures. These results are discussed in relation to a growing literature on vitamin intake on age-related neurocognitive deterioration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20-26
Number of pages7
JournalBrain Research
Volume1199
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 14 2008

Keywords

  • Aging
  • Brain
  • Homocysteine
  • MRI
  • VBM
  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin B6

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology

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