Dr. Russell Blaylock, M.D. is a nationally recognized board-certified neurosurgeon, health practitioner, author, and lecturer. He attended the Louisiana State University School of Medicine and completed his internship and neurological residency at the Medical University of South Carolina. For 26 years, practiced neurosurgery in addition to having a nutritional practice. He recently retired from his neurosurgical duties to devote his full attention to nutritional research. Dr. Blaylock writes The Blaylock Wellness Report newsletter and has authored four books, Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills, Health and Nutrition Secrets That Can Save Your Life, Natural Strategies for Cancer Patients, and his most recent work, Cellular and Molecular Biology of Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Dr. Russell Blaylock, M.D.

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B12 Deficiency and Dementia

Thursday, 26 Apr 2012 09:08 AM

 

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A recent review of the medical literature from numerous sources found that before 1960, very few cases of Alzheimer’s dementia were reported. After that year, the cases of dementia grew exponentially, and do not appear to be secondary to aging alone.
So what is responsible for this explosion of Alzheimer’s disease? To find the answer, we need to look at a number of variables that have changed — things such as diet, exposure to environmental toxins, vaccination policy, and changes in medical practice. (Find more details on what causes dementia and how you can keep your brain healthy by reading my report "Save Your Brain.")
All of these have likely contributed to the rise in Alzheimer’s, but one factor is particularly interesting because it involves modern medical practices.
In an effort to stem the public’s interest in seeking alternative treatments, the medical establishment created the term “evidence-based” medical practice. This implies that anything they do not approve of must be quackery.
When I was growing up, it was a common medical practice for elderly people to get regular B12 shots, at least every year if not every month. But then the evidence-based medical elite decided that there was no “evidence” for this age-old practice.
Unfortunately, they chose to ignore the evidence that most elderly people, even those who were supposedly healthy, were deficient in vitamin B12, a vitamin that is essential for many metabolic functions, especially in the heart and brain.
Earlier studies of healthy elderly people still living in the community, as well as those in nursing homes, found that almost half of the “healthy” elderly and 80 percent of the full-care elderly were significantly B12 deficient. (Read my special report "Key Vitamins that Save Your Heart, Prevent Cancer and Keep You Living Long" to discover more ways vitamins help keep you healthy.)


A new five-year study conducted at the University of Oxford in England measured brain shrinkage (atrophy) using yearly MRI scans of the subjects’ brains. Researchers also measured blood levels of vitamin B12 and homocysteine (an amino acid that is commonly elevated in people with B12 deficiency).
Homocysteine is also an excitotoxin. What researchers found was that the study subjects with the lowest B12 levels had the greatest brain shrinkage. Brain shrinkage was not correlated with elevated homocysteine levels, which indicated that the B12 deficiency did not even need to be severe to cause the brain to atrophy.
Brain shrinkage can be a significant indicator of future difficulties with memory, orientation, and language. People with Alzheimer’s disease have very low vitamin B12 levels.
In the past, the cyanocobalamin form of B12 was used to treat B12 deficiency, but it is less compatible with the body than is methylcobalamin, which can be administered by a sublingual tablet (under the tongue). I recommend a dose of 5,000 to 10,000 mcg a day. Vitamin B12 has no known toxicity at any dose.
Maybe those old country doctors were not so primitive in their thinking after all.
For more of Dr. Blaylock’s weekly tips, go here to view the archive.




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