Evid Based Med 19:140 doi:10.1136/eb-2014-101741
  • Therapeutics
  • Randomised controlled trial

The value of vitamin E as a treatment for Alzheimer's disease remains unproven despite functional improvement, due to a lack of established effect on cognition or other outcomes from RCTs

  1. Clive Ballard
  1. Wolfson Centre for Age-Related Diseases, King's College London, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to: Professor Clive Ballard, Wolfson Centre for Age-Related Diseases, King's College London, London SE1 1UL, UK; clive.ballard{at}

Commentary on:


There are 35 million people with dementia worldwide, the majority of whom have Alzheimer's disease (AD). Among a myriad of research priorities, developing an effective therapy is probably the most important. This challenge has been emphasised with several high-profile candidates failing in trials. Although there are four licensed treatments, they are limited in their effect. Existing treatments are most valuable for ‘buying time’ and it would be particularly impactful to enhance these effects in the early AD. Memantine is licensed for use in moderate-to-severe AD, and a recent trial indicates sustained benefit.1 Its potential for use outside of these parameters has been postulated, although trials have been disappointing. Interpretation of …

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