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Vitamin E Levels Differ In Alzheimer's Patients

Previous research has suggested that vitamin E levels may be related to the risk of Alzheimer's disease. A recent study sought to verify that the use of MRI brain scans together with measurements of plasma blood levels of all forms of vitamin E could be used to differentiate individuals with Alzheimer's disease and mild cognitive impairment from those who are cognitively intact.

All eight forms of vitamin E were measured - four tocopherols (alpha, beta, gamma and delta) and four tocotrienols (alpha, beta, gamma and delta).

Participants in the study included 81 individuals with Alzheimer’s disease, 86 with mild cognitive impairment, and 86 controls that were cognitively intact. The researchers found that the individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and mild cognitive impairment had lower levels all the forms of vitamin E.

The use of MRI brain scans in conjunction with plasma vitamin E measures resulted in 98.2% accuracy in differentiating participants with Alzheimer’s disease from those with no impairment. Accuracy in differentiating participants with mild cognitive impairment from those with no impairment was 90.7%.

The researchers suggest that this method may be used to determine who is at risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease and mild cognitive impairment.

Researchers from the Karolinska Institut in Sweden conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on January 24, 2013, in the Journal of Internal Medicine.

Vitamin E has been linked to lower cholesterol, healthier skin, maintaining a proper hormonal balance, and preventing amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

If you’re looking to add more vitamin E to your diet, try eating more sunflower seeds, breakfast cereal, tomatoes, dried herbs, and dried apricots.

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