Slowing Down Alzheimer's - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

10/27/03

Slowing Down Alzheimer's

Medicine can't cure the problem, but it can help slow the mental decline in people with Alzheimer's Disease, and now there's evidence -- that by adding Vitamin E to the mix -- patients may be able to buy themselves a little more time.

This from a three year study that showed mixing the prescription drug Aricept with Vitamin E can help slow the progression of Alzheimer's Disease.

"What we found was that the decline at years one, two, and three compared to the baseline was signifcantly less for our group," says Dr. David Beversdorf.

Patients treated with the prescription vitamin combination scored better on mental exams, showing less mental decline than the group that didn't get the combo drug/vitamin combination.

While researchers say the results are promising, there are still a lot of questions to be answered, so more study is needed. The research was funded in part by the National Institutes of Health.

The study appears in the ournal Alzheimer Disease and Associated Disorders. The research was funded by an unrestricted educational grant from Pfizer/Eisai, the manufacturers of Aricept, and the National Institutes of Health, and the Cerad database was funded by the NIH Institute on aging.

Newly published research suggests that 4.5 million Americans now have Alzheimer's Disease. As the baby boom generation ages, the estimated Alzheimer prevalence is 11.3 million to 16 million by 2050.

Patients in the study took a minimium of 670 mg of Vitamin E in supplement form.

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