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Vitamin B could be used to treat Alzheimer's, study reveals

Published on 09/09/2010
Doses of vitamin B could form part of a healthcare plan to treat or prevent Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia, a new study has revealed.

Groundbreaking research shows that large daily doses of vitamin B can halve the rate of brain shrinkage (brain atrophy) in elderly people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), a precursor to Alzheimer's and dementia.

The study, led by a team at Oxford University, used advanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to study brain atrophy in 168 participants over the age of 70 who had been diagnosed with MCI.

Half of the group were given a daily dose of vitamins B6, B9 and B12 over a two-and-a-half-year period, while the other half were given a placebo.

The results of the study, published in the journal Public Library of Science ONE, show that those who took the vitamin doses saw a 30 per cent slower rate of brain shrinkage, while some saw rates decrease by as much as 53 per cent.

Professor David Smith, one of the study leaders from the Department of Pharmacology at Oxford University, said: "This is a very striking, dramatic result. It's much more than we could have predicted."

Alzheimer's disease, the most common cause of dementia, affects around 465,000 people in the UK.
© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2010

Categories:  Medical
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