Folic Acid, Alzheimer's Foe

by Vincent platania - Date: 2007-02-20 - Word Count: 581 Share This!

Did you know that Alzheimer's disease is the most common type of dementia in the old and it affects almost half of all patients with dementia? Up to three percent of people sixty five years old show signs of the disease, while twenty five to fifty percent of people who are eighty five years old have symptoms of Alzheimer's. An even larger number of people have some of the signs of Alzheimer's without the characteristic symptoms. After eighty five years of age the number of people with Alzheimer's begins to decrease, but this is only due to the increased mortality due to the disease. Its rare to find someone over the age of one hundred with the disease.

There are many studies out there today that are studying Alzheimer's. Not much is known yet about what even causes it and researchers are hurriedly trying to find a cure for it. There is some evidence that taking doses of folic acid on a regular basis can help protect your brain from damage. This must be explained in a round about way.

There is a link found between folic acid, high levels of homocysteine in your blood and Alzheimer's. Homocysteine is an amino acid compound that sometimes gets used in our bodies when they are making proteins. Homocysteine isn't a good compound to have in a protein because the chemical bonds in the compound are formed in such a way that the protein wouldn't be able to hold itself together and would literally fall apart. So high levels of homocysteine in your blood are thought to be bad because its connected to so many health problems, including Alzheimer's.

Studies have been done to figure out if elevated levels of homocysteine in the blood is an indicator of a disease such as Alzheimer's or is one of the causes of Alzheimer's. Alzheimer's is a neurodegenerative disease. It works exactly the way it sounds like it does, by deteriorating the neurological system, primarily affecting neurons. Neurons are found in our brains, spinal cords, nerves and ganglia. They make up part of the bodies own message system. If you want to stand up a neuron or neurons in your brain process this urge and transmit the information to each other and eventually to your legs and arms and so you stand up. If you want to remember something about your childhood, they work in a similar fashion to retrieve the information.

Alzheimer's is the most common cause of dementia and presents itself beginning with occasional forgetfulness that becomes more and more pronounced, leading to impair mobility and wild mood swings as the patient becomes confused and upset over their condition. It has been shown to start with intellectual impairment, moving on to impairment of fine controlled body movements, to the inability to recognize people, and finally onto decision making areas of the brain. Under microscopes the neural cells of patients with Alzheimer's appear to have atrophied.

Folic acid works to break down the homocysteine in the body. Other B vitamins can also do this. They are vitamins B6 and B12. Researchers think that by keeping the levels of homocysteine down in the body the brain and neurons are being protected. This is an involved theory and there are many other factors that need to be examined in further studies, but recent studies have shown that if you have a diet high in folic acid you have more cognitive function than someone else with a diet deficient in folic acid.


Related Tags: folic acid, folic acid suppliment, folic acid alzheimer foe, vitamins b6 and b12, stanleybeautycare

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