Millions of seniors experience cognitive decline as they grow older, placing a tremendous burden on their families and the healthcare system. The condition can take an emotional toll on the elderly due to a loss of independence.
However, new research from Oxford University has found that high levels of B vitamins may impede the progression of cognitive decline, and help seniors maintain an independent lifestyle later in their lives.
Investigators recruited 168 seniors into their study. Half were given high dose B vitamin supplements, while the rest received a placebo. Over the course of the two-year study, MRI scans showed that the group that was given active B vitamin experienced slower rates of brain atrophy.
"These are very important results, with B vitamins now showing a prospect of protecting some people from Alzheimer’s in old age," said Rebecca Wood, CEO of the Alzheimer’s Research Trust, which funded the study. "The strong findings must inspire an expanded trial to follow people expected to develop Alzheimer’s, and we hope for further success."
She added that more research would be needed to confirm the findings, which could give hope to future generations.