Antioxidants against Alzheimer's - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Antioxidants against Alzheimer's

Madison (WKOW) -- More than five million Americans are living with Alzheimer's, a disease that can have crippling effects on the brain.

  But a new nutritional supplement might keep the brain working properly.

  Babs Zielazinski is a dynamic octogenarian who's taken to the keyboard in the last few months.

  She said, "I can do the fingering with the right hand and I can fiddle a little bit with the chords and, but it sounds pretty good to me."

  Babs' enthusiasm is part of a plan to keep her mind active for the long term.

  Zielazinski said, "so maybe if I get to the age of a hundred, I'll still know what I'm doing."

  She's also joined a Rush University Medical Center study to see if an antioxidant supplement can prevent Alzheimer's Disease.

  Doctor Raj Shah said, "what we're trying to do is to test to see if the Cerefolin NAC, which is a combination of high dose B vitamins and an antioxidant, will help to replace some of the antioxidant capabilities that the body is losing."

  As we age, antioxidant production drops and may allow damaging proteins to build-up in the brain.

  Doctor Shah also said, "the oxidative stress causes problems with causing the nerve cells not to function as well, and to die sooner, and that brings out the symptoms."

  Participants take a multi-vitamin plus another pill, which may be the antioxidant booster Cerefolin NAC.

  "It'll be interesting to see if the combination of those two agents together seem to bring a little bit more benefit than just the B vitamins by themselves," said Doctor Shah.

  Whether the supplement actually helps is still up in the air.

  Doctor Shah added, "we just have to understand what these nutraceuticals are doing and whether they're helpful or not."

  Results that will help Babs decide whether her memories can be preserved by a pill.

  The study is currently limited to people in the Chicago area.

  But if the results are promising, doctors will pursue a larger study.

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