Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s Disease can be challenging. The mental degeneration alone is enough to cause many family members despair. But as science and medicine advance, there may be hope to stop the mental erosion brought about by this disease. According to researchers, it may have something to do with consuming food rich in vitamin C and beta-carotene.

In a recent study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease featured in, researchers found that amounts of vitamin C and beta-carotene in patients with mild dementia are significantly lower than others. This brought about the conclusion that dietary antioxidants may be the key to influence the degeneration caused by the disease.

The study, conducted at the University of Ulm, gathered patients 65-90 years old who have mild dementia and a control group. Factoring body mass index (BMI), education, civil status, consumption of alcohol and tobacco, and other antioxidants (e.g. vitamin E, lycopene), the researchers found that vitamin C and beta-carotene concentrations in the blood of AD-patients were lower than those from the control group. Quality of life and preparation of food may have influenced the findings, but nevertheless, this discovery may very well pave the way for additional research on these two antioxidants as a means to control and eventually effectively combat mild dementia, especially AD.

AD is a form of dementia that is classified as a neurodegenerative disease. Its symptoms are caused by loss of synapses and degeneration of fibrillae. The brain’s ability to effectively use oxygen is also a suspected cause of its rapid spread. Antioxidants may help protect against degeneration as the study suggests, but if you think someone you know may be affected by AD, immediately seek professional help.

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(Photo by Vince Alongi via Flickr Creative Commons)

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