A vitamin B pill that drastically lowers blood levels of the toxic amino-acid homocysteine could one day be used to prevent dementia, and save health services billions of pounds annually.
Clinical trials, starting in January 2005, will seek to confirm that adding the B vitamins to a powerful antioxidant results in “prompt, striking and sustained clinical improvement” in patients. The move follows a licensing agreement this week between COBALZ Limited, a U.K. company specialising in homocysteine research, and Pamlab L.L.C, a U.S. company providing high-quality pharmaceuticals for general practices, neurology, cardiology and internal medicine.
It will enable a team led by Dr. Ramon Diaz-Arrastia of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, to determine whether the antioxidant together with high-dose B vitamins is superior to standard B-vitamin supplements in slowing the rate of cognitive decline and the accumulation of MRI abnormalities in Alzheimers disease patients.
Neil McCaddon | alfa
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