Dementia is slowed down in old people with memory problems when large doses of B-complex vitamins are taken as they reduce the rate of brain shrinkage, proves a two-year trial in England.
The study discovered that B vitamins, including B-6, B-12 and folic acid, slow down mild cognitive impairment (MCI), a condition which is a major risk factor for Alzheimer disease and other forms of dementia.
Dr. Gustavo C. Román, medical director of the Alzheimer and Dementia Center at the Methodist Neurological Institute in Houston, said that patients who already exhibit signs of dementia and test positive for high levels of homocysteine are more likely to respond well to the large doses of B vitamins.
Homocysteine is an amino acid in the blood, and high blood levels are linked to an increased risk of developing Alzheimer disease.
"I'm not saying that everyone who takes B vitamins will prevent dementia," Roman said.
"But in the right dosage and for the appropriate patients, the vitamin B-12 treatment could be a step toward modifying disease progression," he said.