Homocysteine and Peripheral Neuropathy

Rebecca T. Hsu, Favio Bumanlag, Anita K. Mehta, Xiaohong Si, Yun Yuan, Nae J. Dun and Jin Jun Luo



Introduction: Elevated plasma level of homocysteine (eHcy) has been observed to be related to various neurological conditions including peripheral neuropathy (PN). However, studies on eHcy as an independent risk factor for the development of PN are sparse. To explore the association of eHcy with PN, we conducted a clinical observational study.

Methods: Retrospective chart review was performed over 5 years on patients with peripheral neuropathy or with primary headaches as controls. Patients with simultaneously measured homocysteine, methylmalonic acid, Vitamin B12 and folate were recorded. Patients without homocysteine measurement or with any identifiable etiologies, other than eHcy, for neuropathy were excluded. Demographic, clinical and laboratory data were analyzed.

Results: A total of 202 subjects who met the inclusion and exclusion criteria were collected, including 161 with PN and 41 with headaches. Higher levels of homocysteine were observed in PN patients (15.5 ± 12.2 μmol/L, 95% CI: 0.6369-8.2631, p = 0.02) than in the headache controls (10.6 ± 3.4 μmol/L). Additionally, the frequency of eHcy was also significantly higher in PN (51.6%, OR: 4.39, 95% CI: 1.91-10.09, p = 0.0002) than in headache controls (19.5%).

Discussion: The current study confirmed the previous observation that increased prevalence of eHcy is seen in patients with PN and validated the hypothesis that eHcy may potentially be an independent risk factor contributing to the etiology of PN.

Published on: December 7, 2020
doi: 10.17756/jnen.2020-076
Citation: Hsu RT, Bumanlag F, Mehta AK, Si X, Yuan Y, et al. 2020. Homocysteine and Peripheral Neuropathy. J Neurol Exp Neurosci 6(2): 58-61.