Research findings from the Oxford Project to investigate Memory and Ageing (Optima) suggest that high doses of B vitamins may halve the rate of brain shrinkage in older people experiencing some of the warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease.
The study author, Professor David Smith, said
These vitamins are doing something to the brain structure – they’re protecting it, and that’s very important because we need to protect the brain to prevent Alzheimer’s.
Since accelerated brain atrophy is a characteristic of subjects with mild cognitive impairment who convert to Alzheimer’s disease further research work is needed to see if the same treatment will delay the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
Smith AD, Smith SM, de Jager CA, Whitbread P, Johnston C, et al. (2010) Homocysteine-Lowering by B Vitamins Slows the Rate of Accelerated Brain Atrophy in Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Public Library of Science ONE 5(9): e12244. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0012244