Vitamin E may delay decline in mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s Disease, study finds

January 1, 2014

(Credit: iStock)

New research published online first in the Jan. 1 Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that alpha tocepherol (fat-soluble Vitamin E and antioxidant), may slow functional decline — problems with daily activities such as shopping, preparing meals, planning, and traveling — in patients with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease and decrease caregiver burden.

Vitamin E did not show delay of cognitive or memory deterioration in the research.

“Since the cholinesterase inhibitors [galantamine, donepezil, rivastigmine], we have had very little to offer patients with mild-to-moderate dementia,” said Mary Sano, PhD, trial co-investigator, and professor in the department of psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and director of research at the James J. Peters Veteran’s Administration Medical Center, Bronx, New York. “This trial showed that vitamin E delays progression of functional decline by 19% per year, which translates into 6.2 months benefit over placebo.”

The clinical trial investigators believe vitamin E can be recommended as a treatment strategy, based on the double-blind randomized controlled trial.

The Veteran’s Administration Cooperative Randomized Trial of Vitamin E and memantine in Alzheimer’s Disease (TEAM-AD examined the effects of vitamin E 2,000 IU/d, 20 mg/d of memantine, the combination, or placebo on Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study/Activities of Daily Living (ADCS-ADL) Inventory Score. A group of 613 patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease were in the study, which was launched in August 2007 and finished in September 2012 at 14 Veterans Affairs Medical Centers.

Difficulty with activities of daily living often affect Alzheimer’s patients, which is estimated to affect as many as 5.1 million Americans.

References: