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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 5912146, 10 pages
Clinical Study

Folic Acid Supplementation Mitigates Alzheimer’s Disease by Reducing Inflammation: A Randomized Controlled Trial

1School of Nursing, Tianjin Medical University, Tianjin, China
2Department of Neurology, Huanhu Hospital, Tianjin, China
3Department of Nutrition and Food Science, School of Public Health, Tianjin Medical University, Tianjin, China
4Metabolic Diseases Hospital & Tianjin Institute of Endocrinology, Tianjin, China
5Aging Research Centre, Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society (NVS), Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden

Received 4 January 2016; Revised 6 March 2016; Accepted 4 April 2016

Academic Editor: Mukesh Kumar

Copyright © 2016 Hui Chen et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background/Aims. Low serum folate levels can alter inflammatory reactions. Both phenomena have been linked to Alzheimer’s disease (AD), but the effect of folic acid on AD itself is unclear. We quantified folate supplementation’s effect on inflammation and cognitive function in patients with AD over the course of 6 months. Methods. Patients newly diagnosed with AD (age > 60 years; ; mild to severe; international criteria) and being treated with donepezil were randomly assigned into two groups with (intervention group) or without (control group) supplemental treatment with folic acid (1.25 mg/d) for 6 months. The Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) was administered to all patients at baseline and follow-up, and blood samples were taken before and after treatment. We quantified serum folate, amyloid beta (Aβ), interleukin-6 (IL-6), tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα), plasma homocysteine (Hcy), S-adenosylmethionine (SAM), S-adenosylhomocysteine (SAH), and the mRNA levels of presenilin (PS), IL-6, and TNFα in leukocytes. Data were analyzed using a repeated-measures mixed model. Results. The mean MMSE was slightly increased in the intervention group compared to that in the control group (). Posttreatment, plasma SAM and SAM/SAH levels were significantly higher (), while Aβ40, PS1-mRNA, and TNFα-mRNA levels were lower in the intervention group than in the control group (). The Aβ42/Aβ40 ratio was also higher in the intervention group (). Conclusions. Folic acid is beneficial in patients with AD. Inflammation may play an important role in the interaction between folic acid and AD. This trial is registered with clinical trial registration number ChiCTR-TRC-13003246.