Multicenter Vitamin E Trial in Aging Persons With Down Syndrome

This study has been completed.
New York State Psychiatric Institute
University of California, San Diego
Columbia University
Bronx Veterans Medical Research Foundation, Inc
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Arthur Dalton, New York State Institute for Basic Research Identifier:
First received: May 2, 2012
Last updated: May 8, 2012
Last verified: May 2012

The purpose of this study is to determine the safety and effectiveness of 2,000 international units of Vitamin E (alpha tocopherol)on cognitive function of aging persons with Down syndrome. It is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial lasting 36 months. It is expected that Vitamin E will slow the deterioration in cognitive functions associated with Alzheimer disease.

Condition Intervention Phase
Alzheimer's Disease
Down Syndrome
Drug: Alpha-Tocopherol
Drug: Sugar Pill
Phase 3

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Endpoint Classification: Safety/Efficacy Study
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Caregiver, Investigator)
Primary Purpose: Treatment

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by New York State Institute for Basic Research:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • The Brief Praxis Test [ Time Frame: 36 months ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • The Fuld Object Memory Test [ Time Frame: 36 Months ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
  • New Dot Test [ Time Frame: 36 Months ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
  • Orientation Test [ Time Frame: 36 Months ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
  • Vocabulary Test [ Time Frame: 36 Months ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
  • Behavior and Function [ Time Frame: 36 Months ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
  • Clinical Global Impression [ Time Frame: 36 Months ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
  • Incident Dementia [ Time Frame: 36 Months ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]

Enrollment: 349
Study Start Date: September 2000
Study Completion Date: April 2010
Primary Completion Date: April 2010 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Placebo Comparator: Sugar Pill Drug: Sugar Pill
Active Comparator: Alpha-Tocopherol Drug: Alpha-Tocopherol
1,000 International Units, two times a day for 36 months
Other Name: Vitamin E

Detailed Description:

Alzheimer disease (AD) continues to be the most serious health problem faced by aging persons with Down syndrome. AD is also a major public health concern in the aging general population. With increasing life expectancy there will be a dramatic increase in the prevalence of AD cases, which will pose a significant increased burden on the health care system and individual providers of care. Persons with Down syndrome are uniquely vulnerable to a form of Alzheimer disease indistinguishable from the sporadic variety that affects aging individuals from the general population. Oxidative damage is a highly plausible mechanism in the pathogenesis of this disease due to the overexpression of superoxide dismutase, associated with a gene located on chromosome 21, which is present in triplicate in the Down syndrome genotype. For the last six years, we have been conducting a clinical trial to determine the safety and efficacy of the anti-oxidant Vitamin E in slowing the cognitive and functional decline associated with the dementia of AD among individuals with DS. The study is a randomized, double-blind trial, stratified in a two-arm parallel design. The subjects are medically stable individuals who are 50 years of age or older at the time of screening. Among those randomized to the treatment arm, vitamin E is taken in the form of 1000 IU capsules for 36 months. Each subject is evaluated every 6 months for 3 years. The primary outcome is is the Brief Praxis Test (BPT), which is well-suited to quantifying cognitive decline in this population. The target enrollment of 350 persons is estimated to be sufficient to provide adequate statistical power to detect a slowing by one-third in the rate of cognitive decline with vitamin E treatment. The Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) for this trial includes 4 physicians, and a statistician with expertise in clinical trials. Each DSMB member receives a report on each serious adverse event (SAE) on a flow basis, and statistically summaries of unblinded safety data--including deaths, adverse events and vital signs--prior to each meeting of the DSMB. The most recent DSMB meeting took place on February 23,2010. The timeline for study completion is: recruitment of the study sample (N=350) was completed on 12/31/2008; the final 36-month evaluation will take place in 04/2010; statistical analysis and final report of results is expected to be completed by 12/31/2010.


Ages Eligible for Study:   50 Years and older
Genders Eligible for Study:   Both
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • presence of clinically determined Down syndrome (karyotypes optional)
  • appropriately signed and witnessed consent form
  • age of 50 years or older at the start of the protocol
  • medically stable
  • medications stable more than 1 month
  • involvement/cooperation of informant/caregiver

Exclusion Criteria:

  • medical/neurological condition (other than Alzheimer disease) associated with dementia
  • inability to adequately perform the Brief Praxis Test, as demonstrated by a score <20
  • in the presence of dementia, modified Hachinski score > 4 at Screening Visit
  • major depression within 3 months
  • history of coagulopathy (inherited or acquired)
  • current use of anticoagulants
  • use of experimental medications within 2 months
  • regular use of vitamin E greater than 50 units per day during the previous 6 months
  • allergy to vitamin E
  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01594346

Sponsors and Collaborators
New York State Institute for Basic Research
New York State Psychiatric Institute
University of California, San Diego
Columbia University
Bronx Veterans Medical Research Foundation, Inc
Study Director: Paul S. Aisen, M.D. University of California, San Diego
Study Director: Mary C. Sano, Ph.D. Bronx Veterans Medical Research Foundation
Study Director: Howard F. Andrews, Ph.D. New York Psychiatric Institute
Study Director: Wei-Yann Tsai, Ph.D. Columbia University
  More Information

No publications provided

Responsible Party: Arthur Dalton, Deputy Director, New York State Institute for Basic Research Identifier: NCT01594346     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: NCT00056329, R01AG016381
Study First Received: May 2, 2012
Last Updated: May 8, 2012
Health Authority: United States: Food and Drug Administration

Keywords provided by New York State Institute for Basic Research:
Vitamin E
cognitive decline
Down syndrome

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Alzheimer Disease
Down Syndrome
Abnormalities, Multiple
Brain Diseases
Central Nervous System Diseases
Chromosome Disorders
Congenital Abnormalities
Delirium, Dementia, Amnestic, Cognitive Disorders
Genetic Diseases, Inborn
Intellectual Disability
Mental Disorders
Nervous System Diseases
Neurobehavioral Manifestations
Neurodegenerative Diseases
Neurologic Manifestations
Vitamin E
Growth Substances
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action
Pharmacologic Actions
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Protective Agents processed this record on September 01, 2015