Potential treatment options are listed below in order from most effective to least effective, as determined by TeddyCanHeal's advanced software. Not every treatment will work for everyone, so talk to your doctor to determine what will be best for your individual needs. Many treatments may also be used in combination with one another or with medication.
Folic acid is similar to some of the other treatments on this list in that it helps to break down the chemical homocysteine, which can be harmful in large amounts and may contribute to the development of dementia. Similar to vitamin B12, folic acid deficiency can lead to cognitive decline, depression, and other neurological problems.
It should be noted that folic acid is not quite as harmless as some of its relatives further up this list. Folic acid supplements have the potential to interact with other conditions, including epilepsy and vitamin B12 deficiency, and it is not safe to take in large doses. In most cases, only those who know for certain that they have a folic acid deficiency (which many with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia do) should be taking these supplements.
Additionally, like vitamin B12, the response time to treatment with folic acid can be slow, so one should not expect immediate results.
In 2004, researchers investigated the relationship between mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer's, vascular dementia, and levels of folate (folic acid is a form of folate). They found that folate deficiency may be a precursor to Alzheimer's and vascular dementia, and that high levels of homocysteine may also be a risk factor for cognitive problems. The following year, a similar study looked at whether levels of homocysteine and folic acid could act as predictors of age-related cognitive decline. According to their report, ...concentrations of homocysteine and folic acid were significantly associated with cognitive performance. Specifically, they found that high concentrations of homocysteine and low concentrations of folic acid were correlated with cognitive decline, though they note that this imbalance could be a symptom of neurodegenerative disease rather than a cause.
Like other vitamins on this list, not all studies have reported notable positive effects of incorporating folic acid into the diet, so it may not be an effective treatment for all people.
Magnesium is a mineral important to many parts of the body, and it plays a key part in the function of enzymes. It can be taken as a supplement or found in foods such as spinach, almonds, cashews, soy beans, black beans, yogurt, and brown rice. Low levels of magnesium can lead to behavioral changes and problems with the nervous system. While its relationship to dementia is still being investigated, preliminary research has shown that there may be a correlation between low magnesium (and other mineral) levels and the development of age-related neurodegenerative diseases. While it is unlikely that magnesium deficiency is the root cause of these diseases, it could increase the risk of developing them or cause symptoms to be more severe.
Magnesium is generally safe to take, though it can interact with certain medications, so make sure to talk to your doctor about it and the other meds that you are taking.
In 2005, scientists set out to investigate a possible link between low intake of minerals and the development of Parkinsons disease. They found that reduced magnesium intake led to the deterioration of dopaminergic neurons (a hallmark of Parkinsons disease). A paper published the following year noted that Mg [Magnesium] in the treatment of dementia facilitates learning and contributes to improvement in other symptoms.
In 2012, a Japanese study looked at whether higher intake of magnesium and other minerals could help lower the risk of dementia. More than 1000 people participated, and in their 17-year follow-up, the researchers found that those who reported taking higher concentrations of the mineral supplements (which also included calcium and potassium) had a reduced risk of developing dementia, particularly vascular dementia.