Several months ago I started to see Dementia like symptoms in my Dad. Dad turned 84 last month. I feel that the symptoms appeared rather suddenly, and then reached a climax the day he could not seem to set the microwave to make hot water for his tea. Dad has been heating his water in the microwave for years, several times a day. His short term memory was also non-existent. We had also been writing a book together about his life, and he had trouble recalling all the stories from his younger days. His sleep patterns were also very disrupted, we had started to call him a vampire since he came alive at night.
So I called his primary care physician, and we got him in to see if we could figure out what was going on. An MRI was ordered to make sure that there had not been a stroke, and the doctor also put him on a dementia medication. However during routine bloodwork, it was discovered that he was three times the normal level for Vitamin B-6. Dad was taking one multi-vitamin and a Kirkland B-100 Complex per day. I was told that the body stores B-6, and it is being put in everything we consume. We immediately took him off all vitamins. About a week after he started taking the dementia medication, Dad experienced a GI Bleed. I immediately thought it was the new medication because this was a side effect. So we took him off that medication. Dad has now been three weeks without the dementia medication and 4 weeks without the B-Complex. My Dad is back to his old self. Our Dementia like symptoms were actually Vitamin B-6 Toxicity. I have to wonder how many families out there are thinking their loved ones have the beginnings of dementia, and are actually suffering from too much B-6. The doctor said the test for B-6 levels is new, and Dad had never been tested for it. Dad’s doctor also said that there are some highly advertised Senior Multi-vitamins that have excessive levels of B-6. So a word of warning to all the dutiful sons and daughters out there thinking, they are doing good by seeing that their loved ones take their vitamins. Read the Labels, have your elders tested, and enjoy the stories.