A revolutionary a new British study has found that vitamin B may be the answer to preventing the effects of Alzheimer's disease in the elderly.
The study's results were so effective that scientist involved believe the results could revolutionise the treatment of the disease, the UK's Daily Telegraph reported.
The University of Oxford research team found that large doses of vitamin B supplements could halve the rate of brain shrinkage, which is part of the natural ageing process and the physical symptom associated with memory loss and dementia in the elderly.
Brain shrinkage can be accelerated for those who have Alzheimer's disease and those with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) a type of memory loss, which often leads to Alzheimer's disease.
The brain naturally shrinks in volume with age and at 60 years of age it begins shrinking by as much as 0.5 percent a year, but for those with MCI it is accelerated to 1 percent a year and by 2.5 percent a year for those with Alzheimer's disease.
During a trial of 168 people the research team found that taking high doses of three vitamin B supplements, including B vitamins folic acid, B6 and B12 every day, reduced brain shrinkage associated with dementia by up to 53 percent.
Professor David Smith, a pharmacologist who co-authored the study said the results were "immensely promising".
"It is a very simple solution: you give someone some vitamins and you protect the brain," he said.
"This is the first trial that has shown a glimmer of hope and success. It is the first one of its kind that has worked so clearly. I think it will change the whole direction of Alzheimer's research."
The study's findings were so strong that scientists have suggested that the tablets be prescribed to everyone with MCI.
"This is a very striking, dramatic result. It's much more than we could have predicted," Professor Smith said.
"It is our hope that this simple and safe treatment will delay the development of Alzheimer's disease in many people who suffer from mild memory problems."
The research, which has been published in the journal Public Library of Science ONE, is considered controversial because it is contrary to current scientific opinion on the best way to treat Alzheimer's, the UK's Daily Telegraph reported.
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