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Vitamin B12

  • Vitamin B12 is an important factor in brain and nerve health, especially memory.
  • Dietary Vitamin B12 is found in animal protein sources such as meat, eggs, fish and dairy products.
  • As people age, they may develop difficulty absorbing B12 from the gut, even if the amount in their food sources is adequate.
  • Oral supplements (usually 1000 mcg) may help, although persons with severe B12 absorption problems or deficiencies may require injections.
  • Vegetarians may also develop a B12 deficiency.
  • A chemical called homocysteine sometimes becomes elevated in persons with PD, often in conjunction with levodopa therapy.
  • Elevation of homocysteine may be related to memory loss in some patients, although this is unproven.
  • Increasing B12 and folic acid will often result in a decrease in homocysteine levels, though it is not yet known whether this will improve memory.

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