Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the underlying cause in two thirds of patients afflicted by dementia. AD is a disease that generally comes with advancing years.
It is estimated that 5 million Americans are stricken by AD, which is likely to rise to 20 million by 2040. By that date, 80 million will suffer from the disease worldwide.
Six cognitive areas have been identified that are commonly affected in patients afflicted by Alzheimer’s disease. These are: loss of memory, compromised executive operation, difficulty in language, impaired visuospatial execution, attention disorder and affect. The first and commonest significant symptom of the disease is a neurodegenerative loss of memory that progresses to an inevitable conclusion. A normal brain, unaffected by Alzheimer’s disease, can recall at will past experiences or events in his life. This phenomenon known in medical terminology as episodic memory is impaired in a patient suffering from Alzheimer’s. Intense studies have been conducted in recent years as to the affect of AD on specific areas of episodic memory with related mental and neural routes. The objective is to understand dysfunctional memory with a view to finding new combative therapies and their limitations. Loss of memory is also associated as a side effect of Pellagra.
Studies were conducted at the Neurosciences Department at the University of California to study the effect of vitamin B3 on animals. The animals, especially mice, were administered a controlled dosage of nicotinamide a formulation that contains vitamin B3. The outcome proved conclusively that the treated animals were protected from memory loss.
Studies have indicated that higher levels of Vitamin B have had a beneficial effect on episodic memory loss and in delaying the onset of dementia and consequently Alzheimer’s disease. Generally the bodily requirement of Vitamin B is adequately met with a normal well-balanced diet. However, if inadequate, supplements are available but the effect of supplements on episodic memory loss is not fully established.
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