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Vitamin E causes a significant delay in the course of the disease in Alzheimer's
For years, scientists around the world have been looking for possible Alzheimer's medication that can delay the course of the disease or possibly even bring about a cure. Now a new study from the USA comes to the conclusion that vitamin E significantly slows the progression of the disease. The research team led by Professor Maurice Dysken from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis reports in the renowned journal "JAMA" (Journal of the American Medical Association) that vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease "in comparison to the placebo led to a significantly slower decrease in function ”.
The effects of different vitamins on the course of Alzheimer's disease have been examined several times in the past, but the results were not convincing. The effect was mostly negligible and there were various undesirable side effects. In the current study, the US scientists have now taken a closer look at the potential of vitamin E to fight Alzheimer's and found that this can actually cause a significant delay in the course of the disease. The progression of the disease has slowed by 19 percent per year, the researchers report. This is very good news for Alzheimer's patients and their relatives, even if the results still have to be verified by further examinations.
More than 600 Alzheimer's patients examined Alzheimer's is the most common form of dementia and, according to all forecasts, the number of people affected will increase dramatically in the coming years. For years, there has therefore been intensive research into possible treatment approaches. In particular, so-called antioxidants have repeatedly been the focus of research, since they bind the harmful oxygen radicals that occur increasingly in the brain of Alzheimer's patients. The US researchers have now explicitly devoted themselves to vitamin E in their current studies. The effect of high-dose vitamin E concentrations on the course of the disease was investigated in a total of 613 Alzheimer's patients. The researchers observed the development of the test subjects for at least two years. 52 study participants had to be excluded because there was insufficient data for follow-up. The study ran from 2007 to 2014.
Disease course delayed by 19 percent The vitamin E intake delayed the course of Alzheimer's disease "in clinical progression by 19 percent per year compared to the placebo effect", Dysken and colleagues write. Overall, there was a "delay of about 6.2 months" in the two-year follow-up period. A remarkable result, because for Alzheimer's patients and their relatives, every month in which those affected are still able to cope with their everyday life counts at the end. "These results suggest that alpha-tocopherol in mild to moderately severe Alzheimer's disease can slow down the decline in function and decrease the amount of care required," the researchers' cautious conclusion. Some of the researchers even spoke of a breakthrough, but further studies are needed to verify the results of the current investigation.
Warning of self-medication The scientists also make it clear that despite the convincing results, those affected should under no circumstances be advised to self-medicate with correspondingly high doses of vitamin E, as this can cause some health problems. The extremely clear effect of the high-dose vitamin E concentrations in Alzheimer's patients indirectly confirms treatment approaches in naturopathy and especially orthomolecular medicine, which uses high concentrations of vitamins, minerals, trace elements and amino acids to combat various diseases. In the end, it could turn out that this approach is exactly the right way, especially for Alzheimer's. (fp)