Research on Supplements and Drugs
Alzheimer's research scientists are currently testing a number of drugs to see if they:
- Prevent Alzheimer's disease
- Slow down the disease
- Help to reduce symptoms.
Some ideas that seem promising turn out to have little or no benefit when they are carefully studied in a clinical trial. Researchers undertake these trials to learn whether treatments that appear promising in observational and animal studies are actually safe and effective in people.
Several years ago, a research study showed that vitamin E slowed down the progress of some consequences of Alzheimer's disease by about seven months. Additional studies are investigating whether antioxidants -- vitamins E and C -- can slow down Alzheimer's disease.
Another Alzheimer's research study is examining whether vitamin E and/or selenium supplements can prevent the disease or cognitive decline, and additional studies on other antioxidants are ongoing or being planned.
Early research on Alzheimer's suggested that extracts from the leaves of the ginkgo biloba tree might be of some help in treating symptoms. Although there is no evidence yet that ginkgo biloba will cure or prevent the condition, scientists are conducting a clinical trial to help determine whether ginkgo can delay cognitive decline or prevent dementia in older people.
(Click Ginkgo for more information about this supplement.)