Alzeimers Disease, high homocysteine levels

This is part 2 from a Conference of the P.A. Society in 2013 and as many members on this forum may have low and some very low levels of B12 it is a wake-up call. I just don't know why scientific evidence is ignored and allow people to gradually worsen or told there is nothing that can be done. There are quite a few 'parts' in this link.

The talk starts about 4 mins in.

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  • Think link wouldn't play for some reason

  • I hope it works now.

  • Please note that in evaluating a potential B12 deficiency it is important to look at symptoms not just go by serum B12 test as the variation in the levels of serum B12 and everything being okay at the cell level is very wide.

    Supplementing B12 at high levels unless you actually have a B12 absorption problem can sometimes lead to problems elsewhere in the metabolising B12 fully.

    I realise that evaluating symptoms can be very difficult given the overlap with thyroid and other vitamin/mineral deficiencies and that getting many medics to properly evaluate results can also be very difficult.

    There have been further studies since the one above which would lead to the conclusion that supplementation only works at preventing dementia if the cause is deficiency related to an absorption problem. Sorry - I'd have to hunt for the references but at least one of them also came out of another team at the same university.

  • Thanks,

    I posted the above for awareness of the possibility of dementia as many who have hypothyroidism also may have pernicious anaemia or a B12 deficiency and could develop higher homocysteine levels.

    The video is a wake-up to alert people showing signs of dementia to have their homocysteine levels tested? I don't think this would be a common test (I may be wrong) and wonder what they would be prescribed instead? Taking B12 supplementaton (as stated in the video) can prevent (or help prevent) brain shrinkage by supplementing with B12 but I don't think they should do so until a deficiency is confirmed.

    Are people also aware if they have pernicious anaemia, who of course take B12 that they can also develop a higher homocysteine level. It is recommended that their homocysteine level should be around 6 to 8. Many complain of symptoms or feel that their B12 is wearing out sometimes well before the three monthly injection is due.

    Do people (regardless of whether they have a B12 deficiency) who are showing symptoms of dementia actually have their homocysteine levels tested? If not their brains will be allowed to deteriorate until they don't recognise those around them.

    People don't need to supplement with B12 unless they have a reason but are homocysteine levels taken at all especially if showing signs of dementia?

  • I am not an expert in dementia. B12 and folate are part of the panel that is done when evaluating dementia - along with thyroid and a number of other things (from being involved in testing for my mother). May also include B6 as this is also included in the processes that involve homocysteine.

    Hcy isn't a common test in the UK - think it is done a lot more in the US. Unfortunately Hcy lost out to cholesterol in the battle of markers - it's also a risk for cardiovascular disease or it might otherwise be a lot more common.

    With any set of tests there are likely to be problems with GPs and others not understanding the statistics behind normal ranges and just going on test levels rather than evaluating the whole presentation.

  • It's like putting a jigsaw together (except the patients on here are the solvers) when everything fits together and patient is well.

  • shaws very much agree that a wake up call is good for many, especially if suffering any type of memory issue or other B12 deficiency symptoms.

    If you listen to the video the study was carried out on people over the age of 60 who were starting to notice memory issues. Surely intervention at an early stage is worthwhile? The study showed beyond question that supplementing slows brain shrinkage.

    I listened to this around the time that I first joined the forum and it was a steep learning curve, I was horrified to realise how ignorant I was about nutrition. Previously, I believed I had a healthy diet, but I now realise that wasn't the case. Then of course there are those who regardless of how much B12 food they eat they will have a problem with absorption.

    With the attitudes of *most* GPs in regards to preventative medicine I doubt very much that homocysteine levels are checked - personal opinion only. They still believe that low but in range B12 is fine. I.e there is no problem, so why look at anything related to it.

    Same goes for D3 / K2.

    As ever huge thanks to the forum for helping us to help ourselves and loved ones too.

  • I had my 'first' I believe homocysteine level two weeks ago. It is 10.30 - (2.30 above the recommended 8 max). Even though I have been getting B12 injection every three months and have supplemented on top, so I reckon I need more B12 than every 12 weeks. I was diagnosed in 1994 before I had any symptoms by a thorough docotor who tested everything and then got an intrinsic factor test to confirm. I had an Active B12 yesterday, so await that with interest.

  • Interesting, how did the homocysteine test come about, did you ask for it or was it suggested to you?

    Either way it means you know to keep up the B12 above what you might otherwise have thought.

  • I heard about it from the above video link and also read about it and read the info I wrote below :)

    I had it privately.

  • Just wondered if my B12level could have been the problem as TT last year .

    Had hands and feet tingling and sometimes felt like walking in custard.

    The B 12 was 420 ish so not low. However I did supplement and lost the symptoms I had .

    Having started thyroid hormones in Feb can't be sure it was the supplementing but thought it wouldn't hurt?

    My Mum had Alzheimers and it is my dread, do I understand it will help me?

    My level when last tested was over 1100 so have stopped at present.

    Sometimes I can't seem to understand what I hear or read 🤔

  • Your B12 level of 420 is lowish. The recommendation of the Pernicious Anaemia Society is that it should be nearer 1,000. This is an excerpt from the Pernicious Anaemia Society's book 'The Forgotten Disease'.

    There is a suggestion within the Pernicious Anaemia Book written by Martin Hooper, MBE, that:-

    "We believe that the 'normal' serum B12 threshold needs to be raised from 200 pg/ml to at least 450 pg/ml because deficiencies begin to appear in the cerebral spinal fluid below 550 pg/ml.

    For brain and nervous system health and prevention of diseases in older adults, serum B12 levels should be maintained near or above 1,000 pg/ml."

  • I have often posted about Homocysteine and its importance and am pleased to say no-one batted an eyelid here in Crete when I asked for it to be tested 13 years ago ! My levels were raised at the same time as my cholesterol when first diagnosed with Hashimotos back in 2005. I now only have the Homocysteine checked as it is a better marker of circulatory issues including strokes.

    I also posted about the findings of Homocysteine in arterial plaque at the time when statins were being developed ! And so the the Homocysteine research was duly shelved as the prescription for lowering levels was B12 - a B Complex and Betaine - so no money to be made. The Statin story took over .... Thankfully Homocysteine remained a topic in the alternative/complimentary field and is increasingly talked about.

    Raised Homocysteine along with MMA can be markers of low B12 at a cellular level I have read .....

    healthunlocked.com/thyroidu.......

    The above link takes you to my post of two months ago regarding Homocysteine. Also scroll down for the research done on VitD and Alzheimers at Exeter University ....

  • Thanks Marz I will do so and also, as we know, both B12 and Vit D are prohormones with essential work to do in our bodies..

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