1. Expert Q&A: Living well as a carer - Thurs 29 August, 3-4pm

    As a carer for a person living with dementia, the needs of the person you care for will often come before your own. You may experience a range of difficult emotions and you may not have the time to do all the things you need to do. Caring can have a big impact on both your mental and physical health, as well as your overall wellbeing.

    Angelo, our Knowledge Officer (Wellbeing) is our expert on this topic. He will be here to answer your questions on Thursday 29 August between 3-4pm.

    You can either post questions >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll answer as many as we can on the day.

Why has my dad been diagnosed folic acid?Vit B 12

Discussion in 'Welcome and how to use Dementia Talking Point' started by CeeCee1, Jul 18, 2019.

  1. CeeCee1

    CeeCee1 New member

    Jul 18, 2019
    6
    Hi

    My dad has dementia which the family has been aware of over the last couple of years. Dad went to see his gp with my mum a couple of weeks ago and failed the memory tests. His gp said the next step was blood tests which were done 2 days ago. The dr told my mum tp phone the surgery in a week to get the results, however today the pharmacy contacted my mum to say that there wasa prescription there for my dad for folic acid and vit b12 which he has to take until November. I'm assumning that this means the blood results are back. Why does my dad have to take these supplements and what will the benefit be? My mum has asked me to find out for her. I have looked all over the internet and other than finding out that folic acid is low in people who have dementia i can find no other information.

    Any advice much appreciated.
     
  2. Izzy

    Izzy Volunteer Moderator

    Aug 31, 2003
    59,237
    Female
    Dundee
  3. Lawson58

    Lawson58 Registered User

    Vitamin B12 deficiency is renowned as being responsible for memory deficits in some people who cannot absorb it from food in sufficient amounts.

    My husband was diagnosed 5 years ago with Alzheimer's and as part of his treatment, the geriatrician prescribed vitamin B12. Our GP recently sent him off for blood tests which included vitamin B12 and folate both of which were OK.

    Not sure about the folic acid but I think someone from TP will be along who will be able to help.
     
  4. margherita

    margherita Registered User

    May 30, 2017
    2,409
    Female
    Italy, Milan and Acqui Terme
    As far as I know, deficiency in vitamin B12 and folic acid might cause memory deficits.
    My husband was prescribed blood tests to exclude that his memory issues were due to something different from dementia. Unfortunately his tests were ok.
     
  5. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    9,881
    Female
    South coast
    Folic acid and vit B12 deficiency can cause dementia like symptoms in some people. My OH is low in folic acid and vit D (he takes tablets which impede their absorption) and takes them as a supplement, but it is hasnt improved his symptoms, so they can rule that out as a cause.
     
  6. Countryboy

    Countryboy Registered User

    Mar 17, 2005
    1,408
    Male
    Cornwall
    I personally B12 deficiency is more related to Old Age I had dementia for almost twenty years and during that time many blood tests it was only my blood test in March it was discovered I needed B12 injections
    I had six B12 injections it a two week period and now a B12 injection every 3 months I was also diagnosed with a Kidney carcinoma :eek: in March as I said probably Old Age I am 6 years over the three score & ten :):) alway look on the bright side of life ;):rolleyes:
     
  7. CeeCee1

    CeeCee1 New member

    Jul 18, 2019
    6
    Thanks everyone for the really helpful advice. Does anyone have any idea of how likely it is that my dad's confusion and memory is caused by the deficiencies? I see a few posters have said that the supplements didn't improve their loved ones dementia symptoms. I would add that my dad isn't aware that he has any issues with his memory.
    Thanks.
     
  8. Duggies-girl

    Duggies-girl Registered User

    Sep 6, 2017
    1,470
    B12 folate test is usually taken to rule out any deficiency because a lack of the vitamin can cause memory problems. They have prescribed the supplements to see if your dad's memory improves after he has finished the course.

    I am afraid you will just have to wait and see before they do or don't diagnose him with dementia.

    I hope that you see an improvement in your dad's memory.
     
  9. silkiest

    silkiest Registered User

    Feb 9, 2017
    62
    Hi, my MIL has Alzheimer’s but when she also had anaemia (b12 deficiency is a type of anaemia) her overall function deteriorated dramatically. We had put her name on waiting lists for a care home but the improvement has made us reconsider for now. She still needs carers twice daily but we can cope again
     
  10. CeeCee1

    CeeCee1 New member

    Jul 18, 2019
    6
    Thank you. My dream is that the supplements will correct the deficiency and return my dad back to his old self. I don't know if that will happen though. Everywhere I look, I see articles magazines and hear stories of how people are aware they have dementia and are living with it. I understand that knowing probably comes with its own set of problems but I wish my dad was aware he had it, if that is what he does have as i feel.it would be in some way easier. From the beginning he has been unaware of any issues.
     
  11. Lawson58

    Lawson58 Registered User

    It's very hard to know whether the supplements make any difference or not.

    A relative was noticeably having memory problems many years ago and has vitamin B12 injections regularly since. They made a huge difference to him, now 84 years and only now starting to show signs of dementia.

    My husband has been taking the supplement for 5 years, is declining very slowly but I don't have any idea if it's that or just the nature of his condition.

    It's not an expensive supplement but in my opinion it's worth try.
     

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