Folate and B vitamin pills failed to help keep elderly people's brains and memories sharp in the longest study yet to test this approach.
Some scientists said the study was too small to be the final word, but it was one of the best done so far and came after three very large studies produced disappointing results using the same nutrients to try to prevent heart disease.
"We'd love to have something that is simple and reproducible and cheap and effective that would reduce the amount of dementia," but proof that vitamin supplements can do this is still lacking, said Bill Thies, scientific director of the Alzheimer's Association, which had no role in the study.
The findings were published in Thursday's New England Journal of Medicine.
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