We determined using serial MR imaging whether raised plasma homocysteine levels are associated with increased brain atrophy, white matter lesion (WML) progression or incidence of silent brain infarcts (SBIs) in older hypertensive subjects. Brain atrophy rates (0.58 ± 0.48% per year, mean ± SD) were significantly correlated with homocysteine (β = 0.46, p = 0.001 homocysteine; β = 0.44, p = 0.007 homocysteine/folate/B12 models) but not with folate or B12 levels. Progression of WML (0.08 ± 0.16%) was not associated with homocysteine level (B = 0.01, p = 0.29). New SBIs were uncommon. In older hypertensive individuals, plasma homocysteine levels are associated with increased rates of whole-brain atrophy but not WML progression.

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