A new study shows that regular intake of a blend of vitamins may help delaying the start of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The result of the research, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, concluded that vitamins B6 and B12 combined with folic acid slowed atrophy of gray matter in brain areas affected by Alzheimer’s disease.
Deficiency of B vitamins and folic acid has already been linked to dementia but this study shows good indication that a simple combination of vitamins can delay the start of the disease. Giant drug-makers have spent billions of dollars on ineffective therapies but so far prescription drugs have failed to come up with a treatment for dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Alzheimer’s disease and dementia mostly affect older people. As people live longer, the number afflicted by the conditions is growing. The World Health Organization predicted the number of people affected by Alzheimer would more than triple from 36 million worldwide in 2010 to 115 million in 2050. Older people’s brains start shrinking from the age of 60, and faster in people with vitamin B12 deficiency, mild cognitive impairment, or Alzheimer’s disease. If this pace can be significantly slowed before Alzheimer’s develops, it may delay the disease’s progression.
“It’s the first and only disease-modifying treatment that’s worked,” said A. David Smith, professor emeritus of pharmacology at Oxford University in England and senior author of the study. “We have proved the concept that you can modify the disease.” Smith and his colleagues at Oxford reported that the atrophy rate in patients’ whole brains was reduced about 30 percent in those taking the vitamins and 53 percent in those on the vitamins who also had elevated homocysteine.
Vitamins B6, B12 and Folic Acid supplements are considerably more affordable than prescription drugs and could be a great alternative for many people.
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