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Am J Clin Nutr. 2000 Feb;71(2):630S-636S.

Vitamin E and Alzheimer disease: the basis for additional clinical trials.

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  • 1Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study, 9500 Gilman Drive 0949, La Jolla, CA, 92093-0949, USA.


Many lines of evidence suggest that oxidative stress is important in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer disease. In particular, beta-amyloid, which is found abundantly in the brains of Alzheimer disease patients, is toxic in neuronal cell cultures through a mechanism involving free radicals. Vitamin E prevents the oxidative damage induced by beta-amyloid in cell culture and delays memory deficits in animal models. A placebo-controlled, clinical trial of vitamin E in patients with moderately advanced Alzheimer disease was conducted by the Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study. Subjects in the vitamin E group were treated with 2000 IU (1342 alpha-tocopherol equivalents) vitamin E/d. The results indicated that vitamin E may slow functional deterioration leading to nursing home placement. A new clinical trial is planned that will examine whether vitamin E can delay or prevent a clinical diagnosis of Alzheimer disease in elderly persons with mild cognitive impairment.

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