Hidden Causes of Dementia
by John Dommisse, M.D.
Hardly anyone is continuing to address the known causes of dementia, like they were in the 60’s and at other times in medical history: Vitamin B12 (and also folate) deficiency; under- or undiagnosed or under-treated hypothyroidism; zinc deficiency; copper and other mineral/ heavy metal excesses; hormonal factors; etc..
The reason why these causes of dementia are not addressed in patients is because the “normal ranges” for the deficiencies are way too low, and, in the case of the excesses, they are hardly ever measured for, including the common copper excess that occurs in people whose homes have copper plumbing. The neglect of B12 deficiency is the most criminal, and, again, is due to the ridiculously-low “normal range” for this crucial vitamin for brain and nerve function. [Yes, peripheral neuropathy is also hardly ever treated for the B12 deficiency that underlies most of it – because the patients’ B12 levels are “shown to be in the lab normal range”!!] In the US this range is usually about 200-900; in Japan it is 500-1300 pg/ml! Both can’t be right! I actually use 600-2,000 as my normal range, to be safe and cheaply-preventative. All mammal babies are born with a level of about 2,000 pg/ml, which then slides inexorably downward thruout life, the ones remaining above 600 largely escaping ‘Alzheimer’s’, the ones below that level suffering this devastating and humiliating condition – undiagnosed between 200 and 600, and only diagnosed when they drop below 200 pg/ml – by which time the patient has had several years of memory loss and it has become irreversible – “proving” that B12 treatment doesn’t work!! And almost a CENTURY after Langdon published his paper in JAMA about ‘pernicious anemia’ possibly manifesting its neurological symptoms BEFORE its anemia and macrocytosis, physicians are STILL thinking that B12 deficiency of the brain can’t be present if the patient doesn’t have a macrocytic anemia!!
I treat grade-3, the mildest grade of primary hypothyroidism, and Always see dramatic increases in functional abilities and the loss of classic hypothyroid symptoms as a result – including memory difficulties. Thus, no elderly or middle-aged patient of mine, of which I have had thousands, has ever developed “Alzheimer’s”. It’s as simple as that. None of the very expensive genomic, or even enzyme, research is necessary. At least the enzyme type of research is nutritionally oriented.
Depression and bipolar disorders, ‘unexplained’ fatigue, and even violent behaviors, are additional sequelae of the medical profession’s – including alternative practitioners’ – “forgetting” and/or neglect of these crucial factors. Nowadays, when a neurologist sees demyelination of the nerve sheaths in the brain on MRI, his first thought is M.S. and he may entertain NO thought of B12 deficiency, which is much more common. And Prof EH Reynolds of London has shown that B12 treatment benefits most cases of MS, most of which have low or borderline-low B12 levels.