Vitamin E and memantine in Alzheimer's disease: clinical trial methods and baseline data.Alzheimers Dement 2014; 10(1):36-44AD
Alzheimer's disease (AD) has been associated with both oxidative stress and excessive glutamate activity. A clinical trial was designed to compare the effectiveness of (i) alpha-tocopherol, a vitamin E antioxidant; (ii) memantine (Namenda), an N-methyl-D-aspartate antagonist; (iii) their combination; and (iv) placebo in delaying clinical progression in AD.
The Veterans Affairs Cooperative Studies Program initiated a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in August 2007, with enrollment through March 2012 and follow-up continuing through September 2012. Participants with mild-to-moderate AD who were taking an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor were assigned randomly to 2000 IU/day of alpha-tocopherol, 20 mg/day memantine, 2000 IU/day alpha-tocopherol plus 20 mg/day memantine, or placebo. The primary outcome for the study is the Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study/Activities of Daily Living Inventory. Secondary outcome measures include the Mini-Mental State Examination; the Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale, cognitive portion; the Dependence Scale; the Neuropsychiatric Inventory; and the Caregiver Activity Survey. Patient follow-up ranged from 6 months to 4 years.
A total of 613 participants were randomized. The majority of the patients were male (97%) and white (86%), with a mean age of 79 years. The mean Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study/Activities of Daily Living Inventory score at entry was 57 and the mean Mini-Mental State Examination score at entry was 21.
This large multicenter trial will address the unanswered question of the long-term safety and effectiveness of alpha-tocopherol, memantine, and their combination in patients with mild-to-moderate AD taking an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor. The results are expected in early 2013.