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Alzheimer's Disease

Preventing Alzeihmer's with Nutritional Supplements

08/20/2004

Question:

I am involved in an Alzheimer`s Study at NIH. I just like to keep aware of new findings. I recently heard that something you take or eat can prevent alzheimer`s. Anything on that thought?

Answer:

Your involvement with the Alzheimer's Study at NIH is greatly appreciated, as it is only through the willingness of volunteers like yourself that progress is made in the fight against Alzheimer's disease (AD).  I am not sure what study you are referring to about something you can take or eat to prevent AD, but I can highlight a few.  There have been a wide range of studies over the past decade that have looked at the role of a variety of nutritional supplements in the prevention of AD.  Studies have shown that Vitamin E, an antioxidant, can delay the onset of Alzheimer's disease and slow down the decline, however, we do not yet know if it can "prevent" AD.  Most recently, there has been a lot of interest in the use of supplements of Folate, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin B12, with an ongoing clinical trial in progress using these supplements.

It is thought that folic acid, Vitamin B6 and B12 reduce the levels of an amino acid, homocysteine, which may have a damaging effect on the brain.  In general, a theme that is emerging in recent research is that a healthy lifestyle, similar to that publicized as "heart healthy" is most likely going to also be important in diseases of the brain.  I would suggest that you visit the ADEAR website (the link is below), this is an excellent website which is part of NIA and it provides up to date information on latest research findings.

Related Resources:

ADEAR
University Memory and Aging Center

For more information:

Go to the Alzheimer's Disease health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Paula K Ogrocki, PhD Paula K Ogrocki, PhD
Assistant Professor of Neurology
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University