Vitamin B12 and Alzheimer's Disease


 
   

What is Alzheimer's Disease? 

Alzheimer's Disease is the most common form of dementia amongst older people. The disease affects parts of the brain that affect memory and speech. Over 1% of the population is affected with Alzheimer's disease.. 

Whilst the exact cause of Alzheimer's disease is not known it is associated with the build up of neurofibrillary tangles, which can be detected by Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). Diagnosis of AD is hard and the symptoms generally only occur after there has been extensive neurological damage.  As the disease progresses there is a progressive decline in memory and cognitive capacity in affected individuals. 

Vitamin B12 deficiency and Alzheimer's Disease 

Vitamin B12 helps to maintain healthy nerve cells and blood cells. Several studies have have linked the occurrence of vitamin B12 deficiency with an increased incidence of, or early onset of Alzheimer's Disease and dementia. As yet no study has shown that vitamin B12 can enhance the memory in Alzheimer's disease sufferers. High doses of vitamin B12 have been shown to reduce the rate of shrinkage of the brain in those over 60. This shrinkage is reported to be part of the process in the development of Alzheimer's disease. High dose supplementation of vitamin B12 for Alzheimer's disease has potential in delaying the development of Alzheimer's disease.

Topical Vitamin B12 and Alzheimer's disease

The topical form of vitamin B12 developed by Mentor and associates is a specially formulated preparation that is an easy to apply, needle-free delivery system to the skin of the Alzheimer's disease patient. This pain-free form of delivery greatly increases the patient comfort experienced during the administration of the medication and allows for self-medication without the need for medical staff or any special training. It has recently become apparent that oral supplementation with vitamin B12 does not provide enough vitamin B12 to overcome vitamin B12 deficiency due to the limited uptake capacity of the intestine for vitamin B12, hence there is a requirement for higher initial doses of vitamin B12 to be supplied either by injection or via the topical vitamin B12 formulation.  In addition, the topical formulation of vitamin B12 is particularly suited to patients who may have gastro-intestinal problems, such as gastric ulcers, atrophic gastritis, Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis, or who are on metformin medication, which can often lead to vitamin B12 deficiency. 

Further Information on Vitamin B12 and Alzheimer's Disease

Check out the following sites for further information on Alzheimer's Disease

http://www.alzheimers.com.au/alzheimers/incidence.php

http://www.healthinsite.gov.au/topics/Alzheimer_s_Disease

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-11232356

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-11569602

Supplemental scientific references on vitamin B12 and Alzheimer's Disease