Vitamin E, Ginkgo biloba and the statin lipid-lowering agents have all been proposed to have antioxidant properties. Thus, in contrast to the AChE inhibitors, these agents would theoretically be beneficial for either the prevention or the progression of Alzheimer's disease. Unfortunately, most trials with these agents have not shown any benefit cognitively in patients who received therapy compared to those that have not.
However, Alzheimer patients (and those trying to prevent Alzheimer's) continue to use vitamin E and Ginkgo biloba since they are perceived as "natural" products and are available without a prescription.
According to theory, antioxidants would be expected to:
Extra info: Since the decline of cholinergic transmission and cognitive function are the result of irreversible damage from free radicals, the addition of antioxidants would only be expected to prevent further decline. In addition, the formation of neurofibrillary tangles are caused from the excessive phosphorylation of tau proteins, not excessive oxidation.
Using large doses of vitamin E would seem safe, but side effects can include:
Extra info: Giving large doses of this fat-soluble vitamin can result in diarrhea.