Homocysteine Topic Guide
Homocysteine (Blood Test):
Homocysteine is an amino acid produced by the body, usually as a byproduct of consuming meat, fish or dairy. Elevated levels of homocysteine in the blood do not usually cause symptoms, but they raise the risk for heart disease like heart attack and stroke. The cause of high homocysteine levels is usually dietary deficiencies in vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and folic acid. Homocystinuria is a rare genetic condition in which homocysteine is excreted in the urine. Testing generally is done on the newborn if the disease runs in the family. Treatment to lower homocysteine levels is vitamin supplementation.
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Dementia is the loss of reasoning, memory, and other mental abilities. Dementia may be caused by irreversible causes such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's dementia, lewy body dementia, and vascular dementia. There are also treatable causes of dementia such as infections, head injury, normal hydrocephalus, and metabolic and hormonal disorders. Early symptoms of dementia include:
A variety of tests (blood tests, scans, assessment of family history) may be used to diagnose dementia. Treatment may include medication and behavioral therapy.
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