Brain tocopherols related to Alzheimer's disease neuropathology in humans.Alzheimers Dement 2015; 11(1):32-9AD
Randomized trials of α-tocopherol supplements on cognitive decline are negative, whereas studies of dietary tocopherols have shown benefit. We investigated these inconsistencies by analyzing the relations of α- and γ-tocopherol brain concentrations to Alzheimer's disease (AD) neuropathology among 115 deceased participants of the prospective Rush Memory and Aging Project. Associations of amyloid load and neurofibrillary tangle severity with brain tocopherol concentrations were examined in separate adjusted linear regression models. γ-Tocopherol concentrations were associated with lower amyloid load (β = -2.10, P = .002) and lower neurofibrillary tangle severity (β = -1.16, P = .02). Concentrations of α-tocopherol were not associated with AD neuropathology, except as modified by γ-tocopherol: high α-tocopherol was associated with higher amyloid load when γ-tocopherol levels were low and with lower amyloid levels when γ-tocopherol levels were high (P for interaction = 0.03). Brain concentrations of γ- and α-tocopherols may be associated with AD neuropathology in interrelated, complex ways. Randomized trials should consider the contribution of γ-tocopherol.