Alzheimer's disease is a devastating condition that affects millions of Americans and the search for a cure has been elusive. Researchers at the University of California-San Diego School of Medicine have been studying 340 patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's to see if large doses of vitamins B-6, B-12, and folic acid would slow the progression of the memory decline that comes with the disease.
This week, the results of that study are in JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association and the results must be very disappointing to the hundreds of families that had been praying this study would go the other way.
Paul Aisen, M.D., of the University Of California-San Diego School Of Medicine, says, "...unfortunately the results were disappointing in the sense that this intervention - the high-dose vitamins - did not have a favorable effect on the disease".
The four-year study in JAMA focused on reducing patients' levels of an amino acid, homocysteine, which has been linked to Alzheimer's disease. The study showed that vitamins can lower homocysteine levels but with no effect on slowing the progression of the disease.