Dementia and Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Vitamin B12 deficiency goes largely undetected, by the time dementia has set in due to the Vitamin B12 deficiency the condition has been prolonged and present for some time.
What is Dementia?
Dementia is a condition that is usually secondary to an underlying condition. It is the result of many diseases. Dementia makes a person act in a disorientated manner, looks similar to amnesia with the person unable to remember the simplest of things, like their address or how to put pants on. It is a very scary condition to witness. Dementia can be the result of some very complex diseases that effect the body and the treatments for the diseases, sometimes it is reversible and winds up as a short episode, sometimes it is not and it becomes a permanent condition. The connection to Vitamin B12 deficiency and dementia is still not very well understood, but studies indicate there is a strong relationship between Vitamin B12 deficiency and dementia.
Vitamin B12 deficiency when associated with dementia is one of the most preventable forms of dementia, catching the condition in time is a key before permanent damage takes hold.
Vitamin B12 is key to keeping the nervous system healthy and keeping the brain functioning at optimum performance. Vitamin B12 deficiency can result in a host of issues, many of which are neurologically based. There is a link between Vitamin B12 deficiency and depression, memory loss, personality changes, increase in irritability, dementia and psychosis. These are pretty serious conditions and goes far beyond what the medical community thought were the results of a Vitamin B12 deficiency. For years the medical community thought that the only problems that would manifest itself from a Vitamin B12 deficiency were anemia and fatigue.
The theory is that the components of Vitamin B12 feed the nervous system, without the proper amount present the dendrites that are used to send messages to the brain from the body begin to die and lose functions; production of these dendrites is reduced because the nourishment in the Vitamin B12 is missing when there is a deficiency. The results can be catastrophic. The brain starts to change how it does business; it conserves its energy for the survival things like breathing and keeping the heart beating. So other day to day brain functions start to lose some control, like memory functions, recognition and speech, but it happens in increments so that it is barely noticed. Over time more and more function is lost, resulting in dementia.
Neurological illness that is brought on by Vitamin B12 deficiency is completely preventable, but not completely curable once it has occurred.
How to Prevent Dementia Brought On By Vitamin B12 Deficiency
The simplest path to prevention is a diet rich in Vitamin B12 foods, if dietary restrictions make it difficult to consume the Vitamin B12 foods than supplements may be the only way to be sure that there is enough Vitamin B12 in the diet.
Periodic screenings after the age of sixty is also a good idea and will go a long way in prevention.