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Antioxidants Don't Impact Most CSF Biomarkers in Alzheimer's

The exception is an antioxidant combo which lowers stress biomarker, but with clinical worsening

TUESDAY, March 20 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease, antioxidant supplements do not affect cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers related to amyloid or tau pathology, according to a study published online March 19 in the Archives of Neurology.

Douglas R. Galasko, M.D., from the University of California in San Diego, and colleagues investigated whether antioxidant supplements induce changes in CSF biomarkers related to Alzheimer's disease in 78 individuals with mild-to-moderate disease. Participants were randomly allocated to receive 16 weeks of treatment with one of three regimens: vitamin E, vitamin C, and α-lipoic acid (E/C/ALA); coenzyme Q; or placebo. Sixty-six participants provided CSF samples considered adequate for biochemical analyses.

The investigators found that, although the study drugs were tolerated, there was an accelerated decline seen in the E/C/ALA group in the Mini-Mental State Examination scores. There were no differences between the three groups in changes in CSF amyloid β42, tau, or P-tau181 levels. In the E/C/ALA group, there was a 19 percent decrease in CSF F2-isoprostane levels from baseline to week 16, but no change in the other groups.

"Antioxidants did not influence CSF biomarkers related to amyloid or tau pathology," the authors write. "Lowering of CSF F2-isoprostane levels in the E/C/ALA group suggests reduction of oxidative stress in the brain. However, this treatment raised the caution of faster cognitive decline."

Study drugs and placebo were supplied by Vitaline Inc. Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. One author is a co-inventor on a patent related to a therapy for Alzheimer's disease.

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