Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Vitamin E Supplementation

This study came through on of the DS listservs I'm on recently and I thought it would be a good study to share.

Cholinergic degeneration and memory loss delayed by vitamin E in a Down syndrome mouse model.

Down syndrome (DS) individuals develop several neuropathological hallmarks seen in Alzheimer's disease, including cognitive decline and the early loss of cholinergic markers in the basal forebrain. These deficits are replicated in the Ts65Dn mouse, which contains a partial trisomy of murine chromosome 16, the orthologous genetic segment to human chromosome 21. Oxidative stress levels are elevated early in DS, and may contribute to the neurodegeneration seen in these individuals. We evaluated oxidative stress in Ts65Dn mice, and assessed the efficacy of long-term antioxidant supplementation on memory and basal forebrain pathology. We report that oxidative stress was elevated in the adult Ts65Dn brain, and that supplementation with the antioxidant vitamin E effectively reduced these markers. Also, Ts65Dn mice receiving vitamin E exhibited improved performance on a spatial working memory task and showed an attenuation of cholinergic neuron pathology in the basal forebrain. This study provides evidence that vitamin E delays onset of cognitive and morphological abnormalities in a mouse model of DS, and may represent a safe and effective treatment early in the progression of DS neuropathology.

You can view the full text of the study here.

The Ts65Dn mouse is a mouse model of Down syndrome. It has been very helpful in doing studies on supplements and gene information for Down syndrome.

Basically, this study shows that Vitamin E can help alleviate oxidative stress, which is known to be elevated in DS. And therefore help delay some of the cognitive abnormalities seen in these mouse models. The cognitive abnormalities seen in both mouse models and individuals with Ds are elevations of amyloid precursor protein (APP), which causes plaques & tangles on the brain. This leads to Alzheimer's. Increased oxidative stress is also the cause of many cognitive and metabolic problems in DS, so to be able to lower that, is extremely beneficial. This study also found that Vitamin E can help with the problems that APP brings with it.

So, all in all, Vitamin E has a lot of potential for people with DS and is an excellent antioxidant (which was already known). O takes Vitamin E in his Nutrivene-D because of it's antioxidant properties.



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