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Don't B-sharp, don't B-flat, just B-....complex?!? - Blather. Rants. Repeat.
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Don't B-sharp, don't B-flat, just B-....complex?!?
There's been news in the past week or so about potential advances in diagnosing dementia, probably the scariest of all killers to someone like me. That's partly because of some family history of it, and generally from how much of a loss it would be, to both my profession and loves of my life, to have my brain rather than my body fail me in later years.

Word came last week of hopes for a predictive test for Alzheimer's that proved, in one long-range clinical trial, to be 100 percent accurate. Of course, with such knowledge come the ethical dilemmas of how to react to it, by the patients themselves as well as their loved ones, employers and (in pre- and post-repeal Obamacare worlds) insurers.  Far better, then, for a potential patient to avoid, rather than predict, the onset of the condition.  So when a fellow gym rat mentioned last week that there was research supporting B-complex vitamins as having the potential to ward off the disease, I did some looking and a first test of buying the stuff.

The research is indeed there, if inconclusive. One study is quite encouraging:

Large doses of B-complex vitamins could reduce the rate of brain shrinkage by half in elderly people with memory problems and slow the progression of dementia.

A two-year clinical trial in England has shown that B vitamins, including B-6, B-12 and folic acid, slow down mild cognitive impairment (MCI), a condition which is a major risk factor for Alzheimer disease and other forms of dementia.

Dr. Gustavo C. Román, medical director of the Alzheimer & Dementia Center at the Methodist Neurological Institute in Houston, said that patients who already exhibit signs of dementia and test positive for high levels of homocysteine are more likely to respond well to the large doses of B vitamins. Homocysteine is an amino acid in the blood, and high blood levels are linked to an increased risk of developing Alzheimer disease.

A more recent piece in the same source cites contradictory research saying, flat out, "taking B vitamins won't prevent Alzheimer's disease," but nothing in there suggested any hurt, either; the vitamin is water soluble, so you can't take too much, and other than some slight, um, coloration issues, I decided to give a try to a bottle of B-complex plus C (the latter never a bad idea this time of year).

After a week of the morning routine? Inconclusive at best. If anything, I'm wondering if my leetle grey cells are rebelling against the disruption.

----

Last night, I returned to the gym, scene of the advice, and mentioned that I was trying the supplement- and that the only seeming mental effect so far was a series of night-ending Really Weird Dreams. I then proceeded to drive all the way home without my cell phone, knowing full well that I didn't have it, and not bothering to look before leaving because I was sure I never had had it that night....

until remembering, halfway home, that I'd checked the freaking TIME on the thing eight minutes before class.  A quick trip to FindMyPhone confirmed it was seven miles back the other way, and the resulting seven-mile drive confirmed that I'd dropped it in my parking space as soon as I'd gotten there. Fortunately, it suffered no damage, and since it was outside, I didn't inconvenience anyone in having to be let back in.

Then, this morning (after yet another last-minute weird dream), I came out to the kitchen to find a pile of dog food on the floor- and a note from Eleanor that she'd found it that way and was too late getting out the door herself to clean it up. I must've left the bucket on a shelf, where the Raiders of the Lost Cats proceeded to tip the damn thing over. Again, I remember being conscious about not knocking over the bucket while feeding the dog this morning- I slipped last week and made a monstrous mess- but slipped instead between the ears this time in not re-stowing the thing.

I know, two little incidents do not make a trend or disprove a finding- but it's just weird to have these little hiccups right after starting a new routine.  Weird, also, is seeing someone on my Flist also mentioning the start of a B-complex regimen (for a different condition) at just about the same time.  So maybe the B in B-complex stands for Kevin Bacon.

Mmmmmm.

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Comments
xiphias From: xiphias Date: December 20th, 2014 04:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
If I remember correctly, B-complex vitamins are precursors in neurotransmitters used in mood regulation, so they're occasionally useful in mild bipolar. Given that they are used in neurochemistry, it's not crazy to think that they would have effects.
yesididit From: yesididit Date: December 21st, 2014 03:58 am (UTC) (Link)
most drugs involving the brain chemistry do not take effect immediately. they need weeks to build up.

i too was surprised at the uh, coloration issues the first couple times i took b-complex supplements.
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