CogniFit's Science blog: Antioxidants Found To Have No Effect On Cerebrospinal Fluid Biomarkers

Antioxidants Found To Have No Effect On Cerebrospinal Fluid Biomarkers

A study by Archived of Neurology reveals that no association between an antioxidant combination of vitamin E, vitamin C and lipoic acid and changes in cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers that are related to dementia.

Oxidative impairment is linked to aging in the brain, which is a common symptom in individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and related forms of dementia. There have been countless studies that have said a diet rich in antioxidants could reduce the risk of the disease developing. However, results from antioxidant studies in Alzheimer’s have been mixed.

A doctor from the University of California gathered a group of 78 patients from the Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study Antioxidant Biomarker study with intentions of analyzing alterations in cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers that are associated with dementia and oxidative stress, function and cognition.

The doctor took the group of participants and split them into three different groups. The first group was assigned to placebo. The second group was given 800 IU/per day of vitamin E along with 500 mg/per day of vitamin C and 900 mg/per day of a lipoic acid. The final group was given 400 mg of coenzyme Q three times a day.

Over the 16-week trial, 66 participants showed serial CSF specimens that were suitable for biochemical examination. What this shows is the combination of E/C/ALA had no affect whatsoever on the CSF biomarkers that are related to dementia.

Despite participants in the E/C/ALA group seeing a decrease of CSF F2-isoprostane levels, the reduction of oxidative stress in the brain was imminent. This in turn raised caution in regards to faster cognitive decline.

Researchers remain puzzled over whether the small reduction in CSF F2-isoprostane level can lead to clinical benefits in Alzheimer’s disease. It remains clear that the more rapid MMSE score decline indicates a cognitive performance needs to be assessed in order for a longer-term clinical trial to be considered.

On top of this, researchers suggest that despite the results suggesting that CoQ was safe and well tolerated by the participants, the absence of a biomarker signal in CSF shows that CoQ does not enhance indices of neurodegeneration or oxidative stress.

So what were the overall findings? The researchers essentially concluded that the final results do not support further clinical trial development of CoQ in Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. And while it is unsettling to see such findings, it is guaranteed that scientists and researchers will continue down the path of identifying how to properly treat and diagnose Alzheimer’s.