Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are most common diseases that effect elderly people. Research studies observe that Vitamin B tablets are helpful to slow down the advancement of Alzheimer’s disease. Brain shrinkage may occur in people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and dementia so vitamin B tablets taken in high dosage can decrease the percent of brain shrinkage.
According to a research study when B vitamin tablets were compared with placebo tablets and tested on 271 old age people with slight memory problems, the brain shrinkage in people who used vitamin B tablets was at a lesser rate.
The research study was performed by a team of researchers from the University of Oxford , the University of Oslo in Norway and the Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust.
Funds were provided by the Medical Research Council , the Alzheimer’s Research Trust ,Charles Wolfson Charitable Trust and the National Institute for Health Research to carry on this research study.
To detect Alzheimer’s disease in a patient , the patient must undergo many clinical examinations and impairments if any, should be checked. However the research study mainly aimed at brain shrinkage. .Other factors that effect brain shrinkage were not considered as a part of their study.
About the research study :
Brain atrophy is a kind of disorder where a person loses neurons and the connection between the active neurons fail. These symptoms are seen in elderly people. The symptoms include loss of memory. This type of brain shrinkage may also lead to Alzheimer’s disease. According to research studies , increased levels of amino acids can cause Alzheimer’s disease. Increased levels of amino acids in blood is termed as homocysteine(tHcy).
Researchers tested these levels of tHcy by adding increased amounts of vitamin B in order to reduce the tHcy in blood. So they came to a conclusion that within a 2 year span the rate of brain atrophy can be minimized.
The researchers carried on their research on old people , all above the age 70 years. All these people were volunteers and had memory problems. They were recruited for a two year program . The study commenced in April 2004 and concluded in November 2006.As per the advertisement given by the research group only volunteers with slight cognitive impairment were taken for the study program.Volunteers with dementia disorder , active cancer and people who were taking folic acid , B12 tablets were excluded from the team.
The volunteers were given high doses of vitamin B tablets or placebo tablets for every six months. MRI scans were taken on them and these scans were carried out once the volunteers entered the program and after the end of the 2 year session. Each year the researchers studied the activity of the brain. The blood pressure , initial brain volume and the percent of tHcy were also recorded at the beginning of the research.
A two year study on brain atrophy revealed the facts that vitamin B tablets really work on reducing the tHcy levels in the blood. The reduction was about 22.5%. Further there was an increase in the percent of tHcy in volunteers who were treated with the placebo tablets. The increase in tHcy level was about 7.7% in them.
So they came to a point that simple medicine can slowly cure brain atrophy. Though there is no strong evidence to whether B vitamin tablets will totally prevent the Alzheimer’s but it will definitely encourage other researchers to do a wide study on the disease taking these points as inputs.