In this randomized double-blind control study, the participants were 70-year-old individuals with mild cognitive impairment (Smith D, et al., 2010).
Cranial MRI scans were done at the start and finish of the study. The participants were assigned to two groups of equal size. One group was treated with folic acid 800 mcg per day, vitamin B12 500 mcg per day and vitamin B6 20 mg per day. The other group was given a placebo. The study period was 24 months.
The treatment response was related to homocysteine levels, which is a toxic metabolite.
The rate of brain atrophy in participants with homocysteine levels of 13 μmol/L or more at the start of the study was 53% lower in the treatment group.
A greater rate of atrophy was associated with lower final cognitive test scores.
The researchers added that the accelerated rate of brain atrophy in elderly with mild cognitive impairment can be slowed by treatment with homocysteine-lowering B vitamins.
Sixteen percent of people over 70 years old have mild cognitive impairment. Half of these people develop Alzheimer's disease because accelerated brain atrophy is a characteristic of individuals with mild cognitive impairment who develop Alzheimer's disease.
When you take folic acid, use methyltetrahydrofolate which is a metabolite of folic acid. This will assure that you get the benefits of folic acid since not everybody metabolizes folic acid properly.
When taking B12, use methylcobalamin which is the best form of B12 for the nervous system.
A David Smith, Stephen M Smith, Celeste A de Jager, Philippa Whitbread, Carole Johnston, Grzegorz Agacinski, Abderrahim Oulhaj, Kevin M Bradley, Robin Jacoby, Helga Refsum, Homocysteine-lowering by B Vitamins Slows the Rate of Accelerated Brain Atrophy in Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Randomized Controlled Trial, PLoS One, 2010 Sep 8;5(9):e12244.
This is not a regular B vitamin formula.