Could Vitamin E Help Alzheimer’s Patients

A recent study has shown that vitamin E could improve symptoms of Alzheimer’s in patients. The study conducted by the Journal of the American Medical Association focused on the impact that vitamin E could have on the symptoms of Alzheimer’s which include memory loss, disorientation and difficulty organizing thoughts. 

This is the first study to show vitamin E impacting Alzheimer’s patients with mild to moderate disease in a positive way. The study doesn’t show a continuous pattern of effectiveness though and isn’t therefore universally recommended yet. But the results signal that the study should be replicated and more research should be conducted to confirm the results.

The study itself was conducted on 613 patients who have mild to moderate Alzheimer’s. 97% of the participants were male and all but one was taking a medication called acetylcholinesterase inhibitors, which slows the progression of Alzheimer’s symptoms.

There were four controlled groups in the study which were followed for 2.3 years on average. The first group received synthetic vitamin E, the second group received a medication called memantine, the third group received both vitamin E and memantine and the fourth group a placebo. Memantine is used for moderate to severe cases of Alzheimer’s but doesn’t impact the course of the disease.

The results were evaluated based on a measurement tool, Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study/Activities of Daily Living Inventory, which determines functional ability and cognitive outcomes were also measured.

The study found that the vitamin E only control group experienced a 19% delay in clinical progression of Alzheimer’s over a year when contrasted to the placebo group. In regard to daily living activities the vitamin E group showed a decline of 3.15 units less than the placebo group. A loss of 3 points could equal losing the ability to bathe or dress oneself independently.

Dr. Scott Small, director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at Columbia University Medical Center, saw this as a major strength in the trial because it is rare to see an improvement in activities of daily living in a clinical trial.

Interestingly enough though none of the control groups performed better on the cognitive assessments than the placebo group. Also, the vitamin E combined with memantine didn’t show any benefits. These results only emphasize that the trial should be replicated to assess the results especially because there are some safety concerns regarding vitamin E.  For more visit

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