Joined: 13 Dec 2006
Location: Cleveland, OH
|Posted: Dec Sun 17, 2006 10:46 am Post subject: Alzheimer's Study - Vitamin Hope
|Alzheimer's Study - Vitamin Hope
Vitamin hope for Alzheimer patients
Researchers at Ohio State University found that after a year of treatment with vitamin E and the cholinesterase inhibitor donepezil, people with Alzheimer's disease performed much better on tests of cognitive ability than did people who had not taken either substance.
"There were notable cognitive differences even after three years of combined therapy," said Dr David Beversdorf, the study's senior author and an assistant professor of neurology at the university. "It slowed down the cognitive decline that characterizes the disease."
Lead author Dr Emily Klatte, and colleagues, studied 40 patients with Alzheimer's disease who took daily doses of both vitamin E and donepezil.
The participants also took a cognitive abilities test each year during the three-year study. Their annual test scores were compared to the scores of Alzheimer's patients who took the same kind of test prior to 1996 - before donepezil and similar drugs were available, and also before vitamin E was touted as possibly having a role in disease prevention and progression.
The decline in cognitive test scores of patients who had not taken either agent was three times greater after a year than the decline in scores of the patients taking the combined therapy, the researchers found.
For the retrospective study, the researchers reviewed the medical charts of 40 patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease who had taken a minimum of 1,000 U (about 670 mg) of vitamin E in supplement form and at least 5 mg of donepezil daily for at least a year. The patients had also been given the mini-mental state examination (MMSE) - a test of cognition used to assess dementia in Alzheimer's patients.
The researchers compared the MMSE scores of the people who took the dual treatment to the test scores of Alzheimer's patients listed in the Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer's disease (CERAD) database - a database that includes information on Alzheimer's patients prior to 1996.
All of the subjects taking vitamin E and donepezil were given the MMSE at the beginning of the study, and again a year later. Thirty-eight subjects were tested after two years of treatment, and 22 participants were re-tested after the third year of treatment. The researchers compared these scores to subjects in the CERAD database who had taken the MMSE test for three continuous years.
After the first year, the decline in test scores of the CERAD group was nearly three times higher than the decline in scores of the treated group. By the study's third year, the decline in test scores of the CERAD patients was nearly one-and-a-half times higher than the decline in scores of the comparable treated group.
Source: Alzheimer Disease and Associated Disorders