Vitamin E May Delay Decline in Alzheimer’s Disease
Difficulty with activities of daily living often affect Alzheimer's patients. These issues are among the most taxing burdens of the disease for caregivers. New research from the faculty of Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai working with Veterans Administration Medical Centers 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. There was no added benefit for memory and cognitive testing with the vitamin. The study is published online first in The Journal of the American Medical Association.
“Since the cholinesterase inhibitors [galantamine, donepezil, rivastigmine], we have had very little to offer patients with mild-to-moderate dementia,” says Mary Sano, PhD, trial coinvestigator, 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 in 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 finding is valuable because vitamin E is easy to purchase at local drugstores and it is also inexpensive. The clinical trial investigators believe it can be recommended as a treatment strategy, based on the double-blind randomized controlled trial.
Sano previously led a study on vitamin E in patients with moderately severe Alzheimer’s disease. She found that the vitamin slowed disease progression in this group of patients as well.
Source: Mount Sinai Medical Center