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Posts Tagged ‘Dementia’

Vitamin B12- a Penny a Day Keeps Dementia Away

Monday, May 27th, 2013



Taking high doses of vitamin B12 may delay the symptoms of dementia, according to a new study. For pennies a day, elderly individuals experiencing the beginning signs of Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia can sustain brain mass for longer, just by preventing vitamin B12 deficiency.

Vitamin B12- a Penny a Day Keeps Dementia Away

B12 slows dementia

It’s not the first time that studies have proven the cognitive benefits of vitamin B12 supplementation for people with Alzheimer’s disease, but it flies in the face of various drug companies who have been trying for decades to produce similar results, to no avail.

According to the study just released by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the best treatment for dementia includes a three-prong regimen of social activity, exercise, and supplementation of three essential B vitamins- vitamin B12, vitamin B6, and folic acid.

“It’s the first and only disease-modifying treatment that’s worked,” said A. David Smith, Oxford University professor and senior author of the study on vitamin B12 deficiency and Alzheimer’s disease. “We have proved the concept that you can modify the disease.”

Prevent Dementia: 12 Natural Vitamins and Herbs

As of yet, there are no other treatments or medications available that comes close to providing the same results as these three inexpensive B vitamins in delaying the progression of brain atrophy in dementia patients.

B12 controls homocysteine

Among the many roles that vitamin B12 plays in maintaining good health, one of the most significant is its ability to control homocysteine, a protein known to contribute to heart attacks and stroke.

For the study, scientists wanted to prove a link between dementia and homocysteine levels.

  • Researchers gathered 156 people over the age of 70 who were experiencing memory loss, and also had high levels of homocysteine.
  • Participants were given one of two treatments for dementia: a supplement containing a mixture of vitamin B12, vitamin B6 and folic acid, or a placebo.
  • For the following two years, scientists compared MRI brain scan results, along with blood tests confirming homocysteine levels.
  • Among people who had very high levels of homocysteine, suggesting vitamin B12 deficiency, brain atrophy advanced at a rate of 5.2% in people who took the placebo.
  • Memory loss patients with high homocysteine who were given the vitamin supplements containing vitamin B12, vitamin B6, and folic acid saw only a 0.06% decrease in brain atrophy.

Can B12 deficiency Cause Dementia? Some Helpful Facts

Compare those results to people who don’t have vitamin B12 deficiency or dementia…

Let the numbers speak for themselves

According to Smith, healthy elderly adults without vitamin B12 deficiency begin to experience brain shrinkage from the age of 60, at the rate of about 0.5%.

  • High homocysteine, vitamin B12 deficiency- 5.2% brain deterioration.
  • High homocysteine, using vitamin B12, vitamin B6, and folic acid- 0.6% brain deterioration.
  • Normal homocysteine, normal levels of vitamin B12- 0.5% brain deterioration.

So, with vitamin B12 supplementation, people with high homocysteine levels can slow down the rate of dementia to a rate that is a mere 0.1% higher than individuals of the same age who don’t have vitamin B12 deficiency.

What’s the upshot?

If you have high homocysteine levels, you can reduce your risk of suffering early dementia by taking extra doses of vitamin B12 and other B vitamins, especially if you are already experiencing warning symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency, including memory loss, fatigue, depression, disorientation, and numbness and tingling.

While it won’t cure Alzheimer’s disease, taking daily vitamin B12 can significantly delay brain atrophy that occurs to all people over the age of 60.

But it’s important to catch vitamin B12 deficiency early. The longer you wait, the more likely you will begin to suffer irreparable cell death and brain atrophy due to elevated homocysteine.

To test for vitamin B12 deficiency, ask your doctor for a blood test. He may prescribe large doses of vitamin B12, beginning with 1,000mcg, although it’s perfectly safe to take as much vitamin B12 as you need to relieve symptoms, as there are no FDA upper limits for vitamin B12 supplementation.

Your turn!

Do you have any questions or suggestions?  Please leave your comments below.

Share with your friends!

If you found this article helpful, then please share with your friends, family, and coworkers by email, twitter, or Facebook.

Like this? Read more:

Aging begins at 45- Tips on how to Prevent Early Memory Loss

Here’s Your Brain on B12 Deficiency- Memory Loss and Aging


Preventing Alzheimer’s disease-related gray matter atrophy by B-vitamin treatment

Vitamins That Cost Pennies a Day Seen Delaying Dementia

Image courtesy of ohhhbetty/flickr

Separating Forgetfulness from Dementia

Thursday, April 11th, 2013



One day you can’t remember your age, and the next you forget your best friend’s last name. Is it the early signs of age-related dementia, or could it be a sign of an underlying disorder, such as vitamin B12 deficiency from malabsorption?

Separating Forgetfulness from Dementia- B12 Patch

The notion that forgetfulness is a common side effect of aging is a widely assumed myth. Many elderly individuals have sharp minds into their 80s or 90s, and many middle-aged people in their 40s or 50s can begin experiencing the earliest signs of dementia.

Only a doctor can diagnose dementia. While it’s normal to forgetful from time to time,  this does not mean you’re suffering the effects of Alzheimer’s or other types of dementia. Here are some examples to help you understand the difference:

  • Forgetfulness: Frequently forgetting where you left your car keys or cell phone.
  • Dementia: Not being able to search for your keys, or think of logical places where you may have left them.
  • Forgetfulness: Having a word on the tip of your tongue, but not being able to remember it quickly enough to use in conversation.
  • Dementia: Not being able to have a normal conversation with anybody.
  • Forgetfulness: Occasionally forgetting what day it is.
  • Dementia: Being unaware of the relative time period, such as the decade, season, or who the president is.
  • Forgetfulness: Missing a credit card payment occasionally.
  • Dementia: Experiencing a steep decline in basic math and organizational skills, to the point of not being able to manage one’s own household budget.
  • Forgetfulness: Walking into a room and forgetting why you entered.
  • Dementia: Being unable to comprehend the difference between past events and real time; finding yourself in a room and not knowing how you got there.

Your turn!

Do you have any questions or suggestions?  Please leave your comments below.

Share with your friends!

If you found this article helpful, then please share with your friends, family, and coworkers by email, twitter, or Facebook.

Like this? Read more:

Prevent Dementia: 12 Natural Vitamins and Herbs

Aging begins at 45- Tips on how to Prevent Early Memory Loss

Can B12 deficiency Cause Dementia? Some Helpful Facts

Image courtesy of Ambro/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Absorbing Vitamin B12, a Metabolic Gastrointestinal Journey

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011



Vitamin B-12 (Cobalamin) originates in most protein foods, but even meat-eaters can get vitamin B12 deficiency. Absorbing vitamin B12 is a tricky process, and people who lack the intrinsic factor protein are unable to digest vitamin B12 from natural sources.  Learning about B12 supplement absorption is essential for avoiding B-12 deficiency symptoms.


Vitamin B12- What is it?

Vitamin B12, a member of the B-complex family of vitamins, is a water-soluble protein.  Most of the vitamin B12 that you eat comes from meat sources, as animal microorganisms produce it. Beef, liver, chicken, fish, and shellfish are some of the richest sources of vitamin B-12, in addition to eggs, cheese, and other dairy products.  The only widely confirmed vegan form of B12 occurs in brewer’s yeast.

This is your Body on B12

The benefits of vitamin B12 for your body are expansive.

  • Vitamin B12 assists in producing oxygen-carrying red blood cells.
  • Vitamin B12 also protects the myelin sheathe, which protects your nervous system.
  • Vitamin B12 benefits cognitive functioning- Cognitive health treatments are essential for treating symptoms of autism, and to delay the early onset of dementia.
  • Supplementing with vitamin B12 boosts stamina, sustains the memory, enhances mental focus, and imparts feelings of well-being in individuals who suffer from vitamin B12 deficiency.
  • Long-term vitamin B12 deficiency causes depression, anxiety, fatigue, memory loss, and numbness/tingling in the extremities. 

    (B12 Deficiency: Don’t Ignore the Symptoms)

Most People Digest B12 like this…

ABSORBING VITAMIN B12- A METABOLIC GASTROINTESTINAL JOURNEY, WWW.B12PATCH.COMVitamin B12’s journey through your body is a complicated, tricky procedure, and many things can go wrong.

  • 1. When you consume dietary vitamin B12 (from food), it immediately clings to hydrochloric acid and pepsin, a gastric enzyme that your body makes- except for when it doesn’t. (More on this later.)
  • 2. In your stomach, digestive acids separate vitamin B12 (cobalamin) from its protein part.  Also in your stomach, gastric parietal cells produce a substance called intrinsic factor- a necessary glycoprotein for digesting B12.
  • 3. Vitamin B12 combines with “R protein,” thus becoming B-complex.  B complex, along with intrinsic factor, travels to the small intestine.
  • 4. In the small intestine, R protein and B-complex separate.  B12 then attaches itself to intrinsic factor.
  • 5. The B12/intrinsic factor complex travels through the small intestine, finally arriving at the very bottom, where it reaches the terminal ileum.  The ileum then absorbs the vitamin B12 and distributes it into your bloodstream, where it is then stored in the liver.

Things that can go wrong with vitamin B12 Absorption

Some people are unable to digest vitamin B12 properly from food, and must instead receive vitamin B12 injections, which go directly into the bloodstream, bypassing the need for digestion.

  • You don’t have intrinsic factor. Lack of intrinsic factor is an autoimmune response, in which autoantibodies destroy intrinsic factor proteins produced in the stomach.  Since intrinsic factor is required in order to digest B12, the only way to avoid B12 deficiency is to bypass digestion by taking vitamin B12 supplements.
  • You are among the elderly. The majority of senior citizens don’t produce the amount of stomach acids needed to break down B12 for digestion.  Even the minimum amount of vitamin B12 recommended by physicians is not enough to avoid dementia caused by B12 deficiency, so elderly individuals are a high-risk group.  To prevent early-onset Alzheimer’s disease or neurological damage, transdermal vitamin B12 is advisable.
  • You take heartburn medication. As with the elderly, people who have GERD, or others who frequently take medicine for acid-reflux, including pregnant women, are susceptible to B12 deficiency.
  • You have had your ileum removed. Gastric bypass patients are at high risk for developing vitamin B12 deficiency, as are other patients of gastrointestinal surgery, such as sufferers of Crohn’s disease.  Unfortunately, many surgeons neglect to warn their patients about complications regarding vitamin B12 deficiency, and many bariatric surgery patients don’t find out about it until the symptoms- depression, fatigue, brain fog- become too hard to ignore.
  • You are a vegan. The vegan diet is largely devoid of B-12 sources, so unless you are a vegetarian who eats eggs, fish, or dairy, then you must take regular vitamin B12 supplements in order to avoid B12 deficiency.
  • You are diabetic. Metformin, a diabetes drug, interferes with the absorption of vitamin B12.
  • You have an autoimmune disease. Many autoimmune diseases such as celiac disease, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue syndrome are highly correlated with B12 deficiency.  Scientists are unsure as to the exact cause, but they have noted a decrease in symptoms such as fatigue, irritability, and depression with the inclusion of vitamin B12 supplements.


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Low Vitamin B12 Level in Elderly May Spur Dementia

myelin sheath (anatomy) — Britannica Online Encyclopedia

Images: Wikimedia Commons, Free Digital Photos

Raise your IQ with Sudoku- 10 Free Online Games for Brains

Monday, August 15th, 2011



Sudoku, Chess, and Hangman are classic games that refine our thinking skills.  Now, raise your IQ online by playing free addicting brain-boosting flash games.


Online Gaming for Geniuses

Like playing online games? Don’t feel guilty- Brain Games, such as strategy board games, math puzzles, logic teasers, word games, and memory games are fun AND functional. 

They help you by improving your memory, delaying age-related dementia, boosting you IQ, and honing your attention skills. 

Not to be confused with “time waster” games like Farmville, many free online brain-training games are available on Yahoo, MSN, Miniclip, and many other online gaming sites.

Here are the ten most challenging, yet fun free online games for adults, teens, and brainy kids:

1) Doodle Blast

  • Object:  Get all the marbles into the jar
  • Rules:  Manipulate the marbles’ path by drawing bouncy “walls.”  Marble ricochet off the walls and you guide them into the jar before you run out of ink.
  • Skill: Physics
  • Level: Medium
  • Where: smart-kit.com

2) Chess

  • Object: Capture your opponent’s King to win the game.
  • Rules: See Yahoo! game site for rules.
  • Skill: Strategy
  • Level: Medium-Hard

Get it here: Yahoo! Games

3) Uber Brain

  • Object: Answer questions; receive “brain balance” score.
  • Rules: Follow the online instructions in the 5-minute test of thinking skills.
  • Skill: “Brain cross-training,” exercises all five major brain functions.
  • Level:  Easy-Medium
  • Get it here: fitbrains.com

4) Memory Matrix

  • Object: Test your memory by repeating a set of patterns.
  • Rules: You get a few seconds to study a tangram-type design of squares, then repeat the sequence without making any mistakes.
  • Skill: Spatial Recall
  • Level: Medium-hard
  • Get it here: luminosity.com

5) Hangaroo

  • Object: Decipher the phrase.
  • Rules: Just like the classic word game, hangman, keep choosing letters until you can guess the phrase.
  • Skill: Vocabulary
  • Level: Medium
  • Get it here: miniclip.com

6) Sudoku

  • Object: Fill in each grid of numbers, from 1 to 10.
  • Rules: Simple to play, difficult to master, this cool Japanese math game has taken the nation by storm.  Arrange numbers so that each box, column, and row reads from one to ten, without duplications.
  • Skill: Math Logic
  • Level: Medium-hard
  • Get it here: juggernart.com

7) Penguin Families

  • Object: Guide the penguin families across the river.
  • Rules: Penguins travel in father-son pairs across a block of ice, but no more than two at a time may travel.
  • Skill: Logic
  • Level: Medium
  • Get it here: braintraining101.com

8) Japanese Nonogram

  • Object: Fill in the squares to produce a picture.
  • Rules: Numbered rows and columns indicate how many individual squares, in addition to how many “sets” of squares appear in each line. Addicting game, but requires some practice.
  • Skill: Math Logic
  • Level: Medium-hard
  • Get it here: infinitygameplay.com

9) Counterfeit

  • Object: Figure out the difference between the two paintings.
  • Rules: The classic “Spot the Difference” game, but for grown-ups.  “Masterpiece” paintings are identical, save for one hidden alteration.  It’s up to you to find the counterfeit.
  • Skill: Observation
  • Level: Medium-hard
  • Get it here: gamesforthebrain.com

10) Dual N-Back

  • Object: Use your keyboard to answer memory-based questions regarding blocks and letter sequences.
  • Rules: Pay attention as your computer screen shows you a pair of colored block and letter of the alphabet.  Don’t get distracted, because you will need to remember that exact placement after viewing two different sequences, and then on.  According to research, this brain training game significantly raises your IQ level.
  • Skill: Memory
  • Level: Hard-genius.
  • Get it here: Soakyourhead.com

Related reading:

Ten Bites to Better Brain Power

5 Brain-Boosting Workouts

7 Reasons You Have Brain Fog…And What to do About It

B12 Prevents Brain Loss in Old Age – Confirmed by UK Study


Chesi – Fotos CC

Ten Bites to Better Brain Power

Thursday, June 9th, 2011



We all know that following a healthy vitamin-rich diet is great for your cardio health, immune system health and a healthy complexion. But what about brain health? Here are 10 foods that make you smarter!


Foods that restore mental clarity, improve memory and maintain a healthy nervous system often contain high doses of vitamin B12.

Conversely, if you don’t get enough vitamin B12, you may start to feel sluggish, confused, and forgetful. Several studies have linked vitamin B12 deficiency with short-term memory loss, “brain fog” and age-related dementia.

Below is a list of the top 10 brain foods:

1) Oysters:


Shellfish are excellent brain foods, and some of the richest sources of vitamin B12. Oysters also contain zinc and iron, two ingredients that help with attention and memory retention. Besides oysters, other good B12-rich shellfish delicacies are shrimp, mussels and crab

Vitamin B12 for Healthy Hair, Skin and Nails

2) Seafood:


If you don’t enjoy shellfish, you might find fresh fish fillets more to your liking, which are also rich sources of brain-boosting vitamin B12 and Omega-3 fatty acids. The best catches for B12 are salmon, tuna and herring. 

B12 Deficiency can really Get on your Nerves

3) Eggs:


Though eggs have cholesterol, they are also good sources of vitamin B12. Having an egg or two for breakfast will keep your doctor happy and help you maintain healthy brain mass.

Don’t be tempted to throw out the egg yolks, either; they contain choline, an essential ingredient for producing healthy brain cells.  

Avoiding Vitamin B12 Deficiency while Breast Feeding

4) Leafy greens:


Dark green salads such as spinach and cabbage are high in vitamin B6, folate and iron, all of which are essential for producing red blood cells, supporting cardiovascular health, and maintaining cognitive integrity. 

8 Rockin’ Meatless Grill Recipes for Memorial’s Day

5) Curry:


Indian curries contain turmeric, a bright yellow spice that owes its antioxidant properties to curcumin.

Scientists believe that turmeric spices are healthful for the brain, heart, and insulin response.

Feed your Brain Something You’ll never Forget

6)  Berries:


Black, red and blue-skinned berries are powerful antioxidants that fight free radicals and maintain a healthy response to inflammation.

Additionally, berries such as raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and strawberries contain flavonoids, an ingredient that enhances memory skills.

7) Nuts and seeds:


Whole, raw, unprocessed nuts and seeds contain essential nutrients such as Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, folate, vitamin E, and vitamin B6; these are excellent for cognitive functioning, boosting memory and balancing the mood.

Eaten in moderation, all species of nuts and seeds are healthful, such as almonds, cashews, Brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds and sunflower seeds.  

6 Great Diets for Autistic Children

8) Tea:


The ancient Chinese have always held that sipping steaming mugs of green or black tea throughout the day improves mental clarity and fights fatigue. Today, we attribute the benefits of tea leaves to catechins, a chemical which is valued for its ability to support brain functioning. 

10 Most Tempting Vegan Ice Cream Recipes

9) Whole grains:


Wheat germ, bran, brown rice, oats and barley are all high in folate, which help the brain by improving blood flow. They are also high in vitamin B6, which is also helpful for maintaining memory retention in people with dementia. B12 Deficiency: Don’t Ignore the Symptoms

10) Cocoa:


Ground cocoa is high in antioxidants, which are essential for brain health. Avoid fatty milk chocolate in favor of extra dark, 99% cocoa-rich bars, such as Lindt Excellence.

Also read:

Boost Energy Now! 20 Practical Tips for Fighting Fatigue



Adult ADHD Could Lead to Dementia

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

A study published by the European Journal of Neurology revealed evidence linking adult attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and a form of dementia which is similar to Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.  According  to research collected by scientists in Argentina, adults with ADHD have a threefold chance of developing dementia with lewy bodies (DLB) in their old age.

Similar to Parkinson’s disease, dementia with lewy bodies occurs when bits of protein remnants develop inside the nerve cells, interrupting the flow of brain activity.

  • Argentinian researchers studied 251 Alzheimer’s patients, 109 DLB patients, and a control group of 149 healthy senior citizens.
  • 48% of  lewy body dementia  patients had ADHD previously in their adulthood.
  • 15% of senior citizens with Alzheimer’s have never suffered from adult ADHD.
  • 10% of dementia cases among the elderly are attributed to dementia with lewy bodies, although they are often misdiagnosed as Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease.
  • Symptoms of dementia with lewy bodies include realistic hallucinations, fluctuations in mental and physical skills, and spastic movements similar to those in Parkinson’s patients.


Can aerobics cure Alzheimer’s disease?

Scientists have long suspected a correlation between the neurotransmitter activity witnessed in adult patients with ADHD and that of senior citizens suffering dementia with lewy bodies.

Dr. Angel Golimstok, author of the Januarry European Journal of Neurology report, says,“We believe that our study is the first of its kind to examine the clinical association between adult ADHD symptoms and DLB and that it has established a clear link between the two conditions.”

For more info on dementia with lewy bodies see the U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website.



Can Aerobics Cure Alzheimer’s Disease?

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

There’s no running away from old age, but you might be able to run it off; that’s what scientists are saying about reducing the effects of Alzheimer’s disease.

A study, published in 2011 by the National Academy of Sciences, proves that aerobic exercise may reverse the shrinking of the hippocampus, the part of our brain essential for memory retention and learning, in our old age.

Conducted by Arthur Kramer, director of the Beckman Institute and professor of neuroscience at the University of Illinois, this surprising research also concludes that memory can be improved through regular aerobic exercise.

Aerobic exercise is defined by the National Institute of Health (NIH) as any activity which includes “repetitive movement of large muscle groups” and gets its power source from fresh supplies of oxygen.

The study followed 120 American senior citizens between the ages of 50-80. Half of the participants were assigned an aerobic exercise regimen 3 times per week aimed at helping them reach their target high rate; the other half were given instruction in yoga and other stretching exercises. MRI scanning of both groups revealed the following results:

  • Over the course of one year, the senior citizens who did regular aerobic exercise 3 times per week increased the size of their hippocampus by 2%.
  • The group who practiced stretching and muscle toning but did not reach their target heart rate showed a decrease in hippocampus size by 1.4%.

These findings overwhelmingly prove that the symptoms of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia can be reduced or reversed by an aerobic exercise fitness regimen, even into old age.


Huffington PostNational Institute of Health

FDA Approves Brain Scan to Detect Alzheimer’s Disease

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

It’s being hailed as a medical breakthrough: scientists have discovered a way to use a PET brain scan to detect the beginnings of Alzheimer’s disease as early as twenty years before any symptoms arise.

Currently, the only way to accurately diagnosis Alzheimer’s is posthumously, via autopsy.  But an innovative new brain scan will make it possible to detect the warning signs, clusters of proteins called amyloid plaque, and begin the process of treating the disease immediately.

According to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), a radioactive dye called Amyvid is used as a magnet for amyloid plaque; once injected into the arm it attaches itself to the destructive protein. High levels of Amyvid, when picked up on a PET scan, indicate a strong likeliness that somebody will develop Alzheimer’s disease later in life.

While having a high level of Amyvid does not guarantee the presence of Alzheimer’s- approximately 30% of subjects with high Amyvid will never develop any form of dementia- low Amyvid levels may be used to negate that possibility.

Scientists have also linked a correlation between vitamin b12 deficiency and Alzheimer’s disease. A Finnish study which followed 271 senior citizens found that elderly test subjects with sufficiently high levels of vitamin b12 and proportionately low traces of homocysteine (an amino acid linked to dementia, stroke and heart disease) were the least likely of all to suffer Alzheimer’s disease.

Symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease include:

  • Memory loss, misplacing everyday objects, tendency to wander
  • Mood swings, paranoia, aggression, childlike behavior
  • Lack of decision-making ability
  • Difficulty managing financial transactions
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Disassociation from formerly enjoyable pastimes
  • Loss of motor skills, difficulty dressing oneself
  • Inattention to personal hygiene
  • Repetitive speech

B12 deficiency is common among the aging; physicians recommend a regular regimen of vitamin b12 supplementation in order to prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s or diminish the symptoms where dementia has already been established.

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