'Medical Food' May Slow Brain Atrophy in Alzheimer's
Written by Editor   
Tuesday, November 29, 2016 12:00 AM

News Bite: Nutrition has been demonstrated to result in lower rates of brain atrophy in Alzheimer's patients.  Worldwide between 5 to 30% of adults over 65 have elevated levels of homocysteine. Such condition results in being twice as likely to have dementia, heart attack, and stroke.  B Vitamin supplementation is commonly used to manage this condition.


Taking a “medical food” product to treat hyperhomocysteinemia (HHcy) may delay the rate of brain atrophy in patients with Alzheimer's disease and related disorders, new research suggests.

In a study of 67 participants, those with both conditions who took a “medical food” product for 2 years had an adjusted hippocampal atrophy rate more than 4 times slower than that in the participants who did not take the prescription medical food. The rate of cortical atrophy was more than 11 times slower in the treatment group.  In addition, the rate of forebrain parenchymal atrophy was significantly less.

The reductions in rate of brain tissue loss were quite dramatic and researchers didn’t expect the cortical finding.  They noted that “seeing that big of a treatment effect with a medical food was very surprising.”

The investigators note that HHcy has a worldwide prevalence of 5.1% to 29% in individuals who are older than 65 years. The odds of brain atrophy are up to 10 times higher in HHcy patients than in those with normal homocysteine levels.

Past research has also suggested that elevated levels of homocysteine can affect cognitive impairment and other outcomes. With an elevated level you’re twice as likely to become demented, twice as likely to have a heart attack, and twice as likely to have a stroke.

The researchers write that B vitamin supplementation is commonly used to manage HHcy.

Source: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/871188