December 08, 2013

Homocysteine Lowering And Dementia Prevention

Homocysteine And Dementia:

In earlier Blogs we have seen how high blood levels of homocysteine are a significant risk factor for cognitive decline and dementia, including Alzheimer’s Disease.  

We have also looked at various mechanisms linking homocysteine to memory loss and dementia.

Lowering homocysteine with high oral doses of B vitamins (as used in Betrinac) slows memory decline and brain shrinkage.  Especially in areas of the brain associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

Homocysteine As A Risk Factor For Dementia: 

A high blood homocysteine level is therefore a preventable risk factor for dementia.

It is estimated that as many as 20% of cases of dementia may be attributable to high homocysteine levels (Wald et al).

Other known risk factors for dementia include lack of exercise, high blood sugar and high blood pressure.

Together with lowering blood homocysteine levels, addressing these risk factors can help reduce the chance of any individual developing dementia in later life.

Prevention is Better than Cure:

It has been said that, just as there is nothing inevitable about heart disease, there is nothing inevitable about Alzheimer’s Disease (Professor David Smith, Foreword to "The Alzheimer's Prevention Plan").

Dementia Prevention IS perfectly possible. But, as with heart disease, it is important to act early, prior to the onset of disease.

If you have memory problems, speak to your healthcare provider about having blood homocysteine levels checked.

 

In our next Blog we will look at current efforts to tackle the global burden of dementia.

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