Research has shown that high doses of B Vitamins may dramatically slow cognitive decline in elderly patients. appears to indicate that vitamin supplements may be the key to curbing the onset of Alzheimer's disease by slowing down deterioration in the medial temporal lobe, which is the part of the brain that shrinks causing the cognitive decline in this type of dementia.
A team of researchers from Oxford University (UK) led by Gwenaelle Douaud, conducted a two-year trial on a small group of elderly patients in which supplements of vitamins B12 and B6 and folic acid were given to half the group and a placebo was given to the control group, They observed that the brain degeneration in those receiving the vitamins was considerably less than those who did not. The most important observation was that the rate of decline of plasma homocysteine levels was 29 per cent less in the group receiving supplements.
Because the trial numbers were so small the results are not conclusive, but the results are promising and the authors emphasize that "further B-vitamin supplementation trials focusing on elderly subjects with high homocysteine levels are warranted to see if progression to dementia can be prevented."
(Source: World-health.net, Longevity Magazine)
Jul 03, 2013 - A new DNA test has just become available which can detect whether or not a woman has genes which make it more likely for her to develop post natal depression or (also known as post-partum depression).
The simple and inexpensive blood test could help doctors identify which women are at risk and help to treat the condition even before babies are born in mothers who have the genetic variation.
A team at University Hospitals Coventry & Warwickshire NHS Trust (UHCW) and Warwick Medical School led by Professor Dimitris Grammatopoulos, Professor of Molecular Medicine and Consultant in Clinical Biochemistry and Molecular Diagnostics, uncovered evidence of a predisposition to post-natal depression in DNA.
This predisposition is caused by variants in the genes of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, which is believed to regulated stress.
Professor Grammatopoulos emphasise that PND is a complex condition influenced by many environmental factors such as the woman's financial situation and support network. But says that the research shows the ‘baby blues’ and has a strong genetic component.
“This discovery has the potential to revolutionize our care for expectant mothers by screening them before the devastating symptoms of PND set in” he states.
The professor has contributed a paper on the findings of his team in 'Journal of Psychiatric Research'.
Previous studies have identified multiple molecular signatures linked to depression.
Hopefully, this new research and the resulting blood test, will not only help mothers and their families, but also lead to further understanding of all types of depression and help in the treatment and prevention of this debilitating condition.
(Source: BBC News, Yorkshire Post, July 1, 2013)
|Mary Treacy is the founder and contributing editor of age-well.org. She has over thirty years of experience working with non-profit, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), mainly business associations. Mary's work experience is mainly in the field of communication management, journalism and editing and she is an experienced writer in many sectors including co-operatives, agriculture, housing, insurance, banking, commmerce, women's issues and health. You can find her on Google + and Twitter.|