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Can folic acid reduce the development of dementia?

Category: General Health

The World Health Organization estimates that up to 36 million people internationally have Alzheimer's disease, and some experts suggest that this number could increase to 115 million by 2050.

Researchers have made finding a way to predict, prevent and in some cases stall the condition a priority. According to a recent study, vitamin B may play an essential role in preventing dementia, and in some cases may prevent up to 50 to 80 percent of cases, Counsel and Heal reported.

Researchers recruited 200 elders impacted by dementia who had high levels of homocysteine, which is associated with the condition. The study spanned two years, and over the course of it, they administered vitamin B-12, vitamin B-6 and folic acid to half of the participants at levels exceeding the recommended amounts. The remaining portion of individuals were given a placebo.

Researchers learned that the brains of people taking a placebo atrophied by 5.2 percent, while those given vitamins were affected by 0.2 percent atrophy.

A homocysteine test or similar type of lab test online can help to determine an individual's level of overall health - as well as the presence of folic acid in the body.

Alzheimer's disease impacts more than 5 million Americans and is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S., according to the Alzheimer's Association.

In 2013, the overall costs of Alzheimer's related care costs will be $203 billion, and by 2050 could increase to $1.2 trillion.

Sky News reported that an upcoming study will focus on the effectiveness of the NeuroVision test, which was developed in the U.S. to detect those potentially at risk for developing Alzheimer's. Primarily, the test could determine early on the buildup of plaque in the brain before it impedes cognitive function.

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