For the last two decades, it has been hotly debated whether vitamin E—the major lipid-soluble antioxidant, which functions to maintain neurological integrity—is efficacious as a therapy for Alzheimer’s disease. Several factors key to the debate, include (1) which of the eight naturally-occurring vitamin E forms should be used; (2) how combination treatments affect vitamin E efficacy; and (3) safety concerns that most-recently resurfaced after the results of the Selenium and vitamin E Cancer prevention trial SELECT prostate cancer trial. However, with the advent of new genetic technologies and identifications of vitamin E-modulating single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), we propose that clinical trials addressing the question “Is vitamin E an effective treatment for Alzheimer’s disease” should consider a more focused and personalized medicine approach to designing experiments. An individual’s naturally-occurring SNP variants may indeed influence vitamin E’s therapeutic effect on Alzheimer’s disease.
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