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Vitamin E May Stall Alzheimer's Progression

Update Date: Dec 31, 2013 04:56 PM EST

Vitamin E may help slow functional decline in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease.

A new study reveals daily vitamin E supplement are effective in slowing clinical progression of Alzheimer's disease.

The latest study compared the effectiveness and safety of vitamin E, memantine, and the combination for treatment of functional decline in patients with mild to moderate AD who were taking an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor (a chemical that increases the level and duration of action of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine). The study involved 613 patients at 14 Veterans Affairs medical centers.

Particpants received either 2,000 IU/day of vitamin E (n = 152), 20 mg/d of memantine (n = 155), the combination (n = 154), or placebo (n = 152).

The findings revealed that participants receiving vitamin E had slower functional decline than those receiving placebo, with the annual rate of decline in ADLs reduced by 19 percent. However, memantine or the combination of vitamin E and memantine did not show clinical benefit.

Furthermore, caregiver time was reduced by about 2 hours per day in the vitamin E group.

The findings are published in the journal JAMA.

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