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Research Article

Relationship between blood levels of methyl donor and folate and mild cognitive impairment in Chinese patients with type 2 diabetes: a case-control study



Abstract

Type 2 diabetes is a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease and mild cognitive impairment. Folate insufficiency fosters a decline in the sole methyl donor, S-adenosylmethionine, and decreases methylation potential, which is associated with Alzheimer’s disease in non-diabetic patients. However, little is known in diabetic patients. We analyzed plasma levels of S-adenosylmethionine, S-adenosylhomocysteine and serum level of folate in 100 elderly type 2 diabetic patients with and without mild cognitive impairment. S-adenosylmethionine/S-adenosylhomocysteine ratio was used to reflect the methylation potential. Patients with mild cognitive impairment had significantly lower levels of S-adenosylmethionine, folate and S-adenosylmethionine/S-adenosylhomocysteineratios. Furthermore, logistic regression analysis indicated the plasma S-adenosylmethionine, S-adenosylmethionine/S-adenosylhomocysteine ratio and serum folate (OR, 0.96, 0.698, 0.72, respectively; p<0.05) were negatively associated with risk of mild cognitive impairment, even after adjusting for related covariates. In addition, folate level was positively correlated with S-adenosylmethionine and the S-adenosylmethionine/S-adenosylhomocysteine ratio (r = 0.38, 0.46, respectively; p<0.05) among patients within the middle tertile of folate levels (6.3–9.1 µg/L). These findings indicate mild cognitive impairment is associated with lower levels of S-adenosylmethionine, folate and weakened methylation potential; plasma S-adenosylmethionine and methylation potential may be predicted by serum folate within a suitable range of folate concentrations in diabetic patients.


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