Sustaining Traumatic Brain Injury has long been held to increase the potential for Alzheimer’s earlier in life.

Using high-resolution functional MRI (fMRI) imaging in patients with Alzheimer’s disease and in mouse models of the disease, Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) researchers have clarified three fundamental issues about Alzheimer’s:

1.  Where it starts,

2.  Why it starts there,

3.  and How it spreads.

96 adults were followed for an average of 3.5 years, at which time 12 individuals were found to have progressed to mild Alzheimer’s disease compared with 84 who did not. We now may be able to detect Alzheimer’s at its earliest preclinical stage, when the disease might be more treatable and before it spreads to other brain regions.

New research suggests that a daily dose of vitamin E may help to slow functional decline for patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease and may help reduce the amount of care these patients need. This is according to a study published in JAMA.

Vitamin E is defined as a group of eight fat-soluble compounds. These compounds include a mix of tocopherols and tocotrienols.

The vitamin is naturally found in many foods, including eggs, fortified cereals, fruit, green leafy vegetables, meat, nuts, poultry and vegetable oils. It can also be taken as a supplement.

According to the research teamat the Minneapolis VA Health Care System, previous studies have looked at the use of alpha tocopherol – a form of vitamin E that also acts as an antioxidant – in patients with severe Alzheimer’s disease.

These studies have shown that the vitamin was effective in slowing progression of moderately severe Alzheimer’s disease. 

The researchers point out that functional decline as a result of Alzheimer’s disease is increasingly recognized as having a significant impact on a patient quality of life, as well as putting a strain on social and economic costs.