Review Article

CNS Drugs

, Volume 18, Issue 12, pp 807-825

First online:

Tocopherol (Vitamin E) in Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Neurodegenerative Disorders

  • Karen BermanAffiliated withAcademic Department for Old Age Psychiatry, Euroa Centre, Prince of Wales Hospital
  • , Henry BrodatyAffiliated withAcademic Department for Old Age Psychiatry, Euroa Centre, Prince of Wales HospitalSchool of Psychiatry, University of New South Wales

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Abstract

In this article, we review the evidence that tocopherol (vitamin E) may have a role to play in the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological diseases. The theoretical rationale for the effectiveness of tocopherol as treatment and/or prevention of Alzheimer’s disease is based on its antioxidant properties. Results from animal and in vitro studies provide evidence to support use of tocopherol for prevention and treatment of degenerative neurological diseases. Furthermore, several, but not all, epidemiological, cross-sectional, prospective studies indicate that tocopherol may have protective effects in Alzheimer’s disease, although dietary and supplemental forms of the vitamin may differ in their efficacy. Mixed results have been obtained from clinical trials. Evidence of the use of tocopherol as a protective measure or as therapy in neurological diseases other than Alzheimer’s disease is less compelling. To date, there are no clear-cut answers as to whether tocopherol is worth prescribing, but current clinical practice favours its use in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.