To B or not to B
From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.
Researchers have been looking into a possible way to interfere with the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. They knew the amino acid homocysteine is higher in people with Alzheimer’s. And they knew B vitamins reduce levels of homocysteine. So the researchers gave high doses of B vitamins to people with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s.
Researcher Paul Aisen of the University of California, San Diego says the vitamins did reduce homocysteine levels. But as for affecting Alzheimer’s:
``The high-dose vitamins did not slow the decline in memory that occurs in Alzheimer’s disease.’’ (7 seconds)
So, although B vitamins looked like an easy step toward a treatment, the researchers say it didn’t go anywhere against Alzheimer’s.
The study, supported by the National Institutes of Health, was in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Learn more at hhs.gov.
HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.
Last revised: May 7, 2011