Vitamin E supplementation reduces the rate of functional decline in patients with Alzheimer’s, shows a new study in JAMA.
The US double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomised trial included 613 participants with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease. Participants received either 2000 IU/d of vitamin E (alpha tocopherol) (n=152), 20 mg/d of memantine (n= 155), the combination (n=154), or placebo (n=152). The primary outcome measure was the participants’ Alzheimer’s disease Cooperative Study/Activities of Daily Living (ADCS-ADL) Inventory score.
During the mean follow-up period of 2.27 years, participants receiving vitamin E alone had slower decline than those receiving placebo, as measured by the ADCS-ADL. There was a delay in clinical progression of 19% per year compared with placebo, which is approximately 6.2 months over the follow-up period. There was no difference in decline between patients on the vitamin E/memantine combination and placebo.
The researchers note that the findings ‘suggest benefit of alpha tocopherol in mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease by slowing functional decline’.