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Medications and Diet: Protective Factors for AD?

Kawas, Claudia H. MD* † ‡

Alzheimer Disease & Associated Disorders: July-September 2006 - Volume 20 - Issue - p S89-S96
Review Articles

In the past decade, studies of Alzheimer disease risk and medication exposures, supplement intake, and dietary factors have grown in number. Typically identified in case-control and cross-sectional studies, many of these exposures have also been replicated in prospective studies. These observational studies have provided the foundation for the development of several prevention trials. This brief review focuses on exposures that have been identified in multiple studies. Observational studies of medications suggesting protection for Alzheimer disease include estrogen hormonal therapy, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and cholesterol-lowering statins. Evidence regarding dietary and supplemental intake of vitamins E, C, and folate, and studies of alcohol and wine intake are also reviewed. At present, there is insufficient evidence to make public health recommendations, but these studies can provide potentially important clues and new avenues for clinical and laboratory research.

Departments of *Neurology

Neurobiology and Behavior

Institute for Brain Aging and Dementia, University of California, Irvine

Reprints: Claudia H. Kawas, MD, University of California, Irvine, 1121 Gillespie, Irvine, CA 92697-4540 (e-mail:

Supported by grants from the National Institute on Aging R01 AG-21055 and P50 AG16573 and the Al & Trish Nichols Chair in Clinical Neuroscience.

© 2006 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.