Vitamin B12 to treat Alzheimer's disease?

October 29, 2010 4:14:28 PM PDT
It has been very frustrating for families with a loved one who has Alzheimer's. Few things slow the memory loss. But now, there's a treatment that is not only offering hope, it's so simple it's hard to believe it could help.

Dorothy Brown is looking for anything to help reverse her severe memory loss.

"It just is awkward," she said. "People ask me, and then everything disappears when they ask me; and then after while, I could say it just like that."

Dr. Gustavo Roman says dementia and Alzheimer's patients often have high homocysteine, which he says damages the brain as well as circulation.

"The levels of homocysteine were high and your vitamin B12 was very low," Dr. Roman told Dorothy Brown.

His solution: to give her a mega shot of vitamin B12. It was almost too easy.

"It's just too good to be true," said Allen Brown, Dorothy Brown's son. "We're very hopeful, and we'll see over these next many months if it's gonna work."

"I hope, and I think it will," Dorothy Brown said.

Dr. Roman is starting a study at Methodist Hospital on mega B12 shots for Alzheimer's. He says two European studies make him optimistic.

"In the study at Oxford in the UK, they found the degree of atrophy in the brain was cut in half," Dr. Roman said.

"Any vestige of hope, we're gonna take it," Brown said.

Dr. Roman's Alzheimer's and B12 study is expected to start in the next few months.

For more information, you can call Methodist Hospital at 713-790-3333.