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Low Vitamin B12 Linked To Cognitive Decline In Elderly

09-28-2011 08:24 AM CET | Health & Medicine

Press release from: Association Marketing

Top long term care insurance expert, Jesse R. Slome

Top long term care insurance expert, Jesse R. Slome

Older individuals who have low levels of vitamin B12 in their blood have a greater risk of brain shrinkage, losing cognitive skills and greater risk of needing long term health care.

"The number of U.S. adults aged 65 years and older is projected to nearly double over the next two decades," explains Jesse Slome, executive director of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance, the national trade organization. "As a result, the incidence of cognitive issues especially Alzheimer's disease and other dementias is also expected to rise as will the need for costly long term care."

According to Chicago researchers foods rich in vitamin B12 include those derived from animals and include, eggs, milk, liver, meat, and fish. Vitamin B12 plays a key role in normal nervous system functioning and brain development. It is also involved in the formation of red blood cells.

Scientists undertook a study of individuals aged at least 65 years. They underwent blood tests to check for B12 and B12-related metabolites levels. They were also assessed for memory and other cognitive skills. Some five years later magnetic resonance imaging scans of their brains were taken to measure comparative brain size and to identify other signs of brain damage.

Those with four of five markers for vitamin B12 deficiency were found to have a higher risk of getting lower cognitive test scores and smaller total brain volumes. The National Institute of Aging funded the study.
Vitamin B12 plays a key role in normal nervous system functioning and brain development. It is also involved in the formation of red blood cells.

Planning experts advise those seeking to learn more about long-term care planning and get long-term care insurance cost contact a designated expert via the Association's Consumer Information Center at http://www.aaltci.org/long-term-care-insurance/free-quote/. They point out that the best ages to look into this protection is prior to age 65 when health issues can make it harder or more costly to medically qualify for coverage.

The American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance http://www.aaltci.org is the national trade organization focused on educating individuals about the importance of long-term care planning. The Association's Consumer Information Center was voted the #1 source for information by consumer interest group rating and can be accessed at http://www.aaltci.org/long-term-care-insurance.

American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance
3835 E Thousand Oaks Blvd
Westlake Village, CA 91362

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