Brain scan The benefits of consuming B vitamins seem to be endless. Already known to reduce brain atrophy in patients diagnosed with memory problems, intake of the vitamin also curbs chances of developing heart disease. A groundbreaking study undertaken by The University of Western Australia asserts that stroke patients consuming B vitamins on a daily basis are less likely to suffer from depression.

Claimed to be a novel investigation, scientists were possibly able to show that the risk of clinically dramatic depressive symptoms after stroke can be declined. Previously it has been claimed that B-vitamins modify the concentration of homocysteine, an amino acid. It is known that elevated concentrations of this amino acid can trigger depression. But high dosages of B-vitamins are apparently capable of giving birth to cardiovascular problems in certain circumstances. So before inclusion of these vitamins patients have to seek consultation from their doctor.

“Previous work had suggested that certain vitamins could have a role in preventing depression. However, we found that the stroke survivors who took daily folic acid, vitamin B6 and B12 were half as likely to become depressed. This is an important finding, as depression is common in stroke survivors – one in three stroke sufferers is affected. We were hoping to find a way to prevent unnecessary suffering and the onset of depression. These results open access to a safe, effective and affordable way to manage their risk of depression after stroke,” highlighted Chief Investigator Winthrop Professor Osvaldo Almeida, Research Director at The Western Australian Centre for Health and Ageing.

The current investigation is part of a major 12-year study analyzing the impact of B vitamins in restricting further strokes among stroke survivors. The protective effect of these vitamins appeared after six years of regular treatment. Due to a slow and gradual change observed in the vascular system, further investigations can be triggered for determining the effects of B vitamins while curbing post-stroke depression.

The study was published in the journal Annals of Neurology.