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November 13, 2002

Antioxidants and Risk of Alzheimer DiseaseAntioxidants and Risk of Alzheimer Disease

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Stephen J. Lurie, MD, PhD, Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2002;288(18):2265-2266. doi:10.1001/jama.288.18.2265

In Reply: Dr Varner suggests that the protective effect of foods rich in vitamin E against AD may reflect activity of γ- but not α-tocopherol and that this effect is mediated by inhibition of COX-2 production. We did not investigate these points directly. However, neither our study nor that of Engelhart et al1 definitely excluded a supplement effect. Furthermore, animal studies suggest a neuroprotective effect by α-tocopherol.2 Finally, other epidemiologic studies have suggested a beneficial effect of supplements,3 and there is no definitive evidence for a protective effect of NSAIDs against AD.

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