Alzheimer's disease afflicts mostly those in advanced age. Many believe that Alzheimer's disease starts late in life. A study though shows that Alzheimer's roots may go all the way back to the womb.
The study has found that Alzheimer's disease might start very early on for babies who do not have enough Vitamin A while still inside the womb. The findings have been based after experiments were done on lab mice. The study has been made by Dr. Weihong Song. Song is a professor of Psychiatry and Canada Research Chair in Alzheimer's disease.
Song's study builds on earlier research about Vitamin A and its connection to cognitive impairments. Song worked along with Dr. Tingyu Li at the Children's Hospital of Chongqing Medical University. There they studied how a lack of Vitamin A can affect unborn and infant mice.
A mild deficiency in Vitamin A could already have effects. Less Vitamin A could produce the amyloid beta protein. This protein helps to build plaques that have been associated with Alzheimer's disease. Mice who have less Vitamin A while still in development in the womb have shown poor performance results, according to UBC News.
Mice pups who lacked Vitamin A did not improve even when given a normal diet. The study has shown that Vitamin A deficiency while in the womb could not totally be reversed. The study did also show that some remedies could be done.
The study has shown that supplementation could help reduce the buildup of amyloid beta. This could help in improving memory and learning. Dr. Song has said that providing supplements earlier would give better results.
The connection of Vitamin A deficiency has also been made when Dr. Song studied 330 elderly patients in Chongqing, as Science Daily reports. 75 percent of those who lacked Vitamin A had some form of cognitive impairment. This is compared to only 47 percent who had normal Vitamin A levels.
Dr. Song though has cautioned that an overdose of Vitamin A could lead to adverse effects as well. There is no doubt though that Vitamin A can help in cognitive problems. Alzheimer's roots may go all the way back to the womb, as the study shows. A study has also shown that the brain's shape could affect personality.