B Vitamins Slows the Rate of Brain Atrophy
in Mild Cognitive Impairment
SOURCE: PLoS One. 2010 (Sep 8); 5 (9): e12244
Smith AD, Smith SM, de Jager CA, Whitbread P, Johnston C, Agacinski G, Oulhaj A, Bradley KM, Jacoby R, Refsum H
Oxford Project to Investigate Memory and Ageing, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom. firstname.lastname@example.org
The Oxford Project to Investigate Memory and Ageing (OPTIMA) published the results of a key aspect of their study in the online journal Public Library of Science ONE in 2010. In this arm of the study, they investigated the effect of B-vitamin supplementation on various parameters of brain aging and associated cognitive function. The study group consisted of 168 individuals over the age of 70 with mild cognitive impairment.
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The treatment group was given daily supplementation of the following B vitamins: folic acid (800 mcg), vitamin B12 (500 mcg) and vitamin B6 (20 mg). The main outcome measured was change in rate of whole brain atrophy on MRI investigation after 24 months of supplementation compared to the placebo group.
Study results showed that the group taking the B-vitamin cocktail experienced a 30-percent slower rate of brain atrophy, on average, and in some cases patients experienced reductions as high as 53 percent. Greater rates of atrophy were associated with lower cognitive test scores.
The authors also observed that, in the control group, the the degree of atrophy was directly related to elevated homocysteine levels.