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Supplements Question
Posted: Friday, November 30, 2012 7:43 AM
Joined: 8/31/2012
Posts: 39

Hi Everyone,


Does anyone have any experience with supplements and Alzheimer's?  Specifically, I'm interested in a product called PERCEPTIV.  One of the doctor's that developed it is giving a talk about it in our town next week and I'm wondering if it's worth attending?


Thanks very much


Lane Simonian
Posted: Friday, November 30, 2012 10:06 AM
Joined: 12/12/2011
Posts: 5161

This link provides a list of ingredients in PERCEPTIV. 


A few comments.  This supplement does not contain what is likely the best version or versions of Vitamin E for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease (tocotrienols).  For more on Vitamin E see Myriam's post and Onward's extensive reply with excellent information further down on this forum.  SAMe, Vitamin B, and folic acid lower homocysteine levels.  Homocysteine produces main toxic oxidant in Alzheimer's disease: peroxynitrites.  If they slowed down the production of homocysteine enough they might slow down the progression of the disease.  A better approach would probably be to combine these supplements with a Mediterranean diet (high in polyphenols) which limits the ability of homocysteine to produce peroxynitrites (via NFkB and NADPH oxidase). 


N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine is one of the components in glutathione--the body's "master antioxidant." The antioxidant is depleted in Alzheimer's disease directly and indirectly by peroxynitrites so that the brain has no defense against peroxynitrites.  The problem, though, is that peroxynitrites oxidate/damage cysteine transport systems, so it is unclear if supplementation would help much.   


Carnitine is a peroxynitrite scavenger, although there are better peroxynitrite scavengers (such as eugenol in rosemary, basil, bay laurel, clove, and nutmeg essential oils).  It may have some limited effect against Alzheimer's disease. 


Would all these ingredients together slow down the progression of Alzheimer's disease--possibly.  Would they partially reverse Alzheimer's disease--highly unlikely.  Would it be worth attending the talk--it might be interesting to see what the doctor has to say. 

Posted: Friday, November 30, 2012 2:29 PM
Joined: 11/7/2012
Posts: 17

In response to Lane's comments, lowering homocysteine doesn't appear to have any effect on cognition, as indicated in these papers:

Homocysteine levels do decline with aging but the decline does not correlate with cognition, see:

Unfortunately, what seems obvious often isn't.

I'm not familiar with the product you mention.  The talk is probably being given by someone who is selling the product, so buyer beware may be appropriate.

Lane Simonian
Posted: Friday, November 30, 2012 9:54 PM
Joined: 12/12/2011
Posts: 5161

The studies on homocysteine and Alzheimer's disease appear contradictory. Here are a couple of studies suggesting a link between homocysteine levels and Alzheimer's disease. 


Background: In cross-sectional studies, elevated plasma total homocysteine (tHcy) concentrations have been associated with cognitive impairment and dementia. Incidence studies of this issue are few and have produced conflicting results.


Conclusions: Elevated plasma tHcy concentrations and low serum folate concentrations are independent predictors of the development of dementia and AD. [Levels of B-12 appear to be normal, however, in most people with Alzheimer's disease]. 


Altered Levels of Homocysteine and Serum Natural Antioxidants Links Oxidative Damage to Alzheimer's Disease


Our study supports the hypothesis that a decrease in antioxidants and an increase in oxidative damage are linked to AD. 



Amyloid plaques by absorbing zinc lead to higher levels of homocysteine and higher levels of homocysteine contribute to the main oxidant in Alzheimer's disease: peroxynitrites.  


By lowering plaque levels and/or homocysteine levels you would lower peroxynitrite levels, but the question is how much would you have to lower them to slow down the progression of Alzheimer's disease.  Peroxynitrites formation also occurs independently of homocysteine levels in Alzheimer's disease and so reducing plaque and homocysteine levels will not stop the progression of the disease and will not reverse the damage that has already been done, but may slow down the progression of the disease if reduced significantly. 


As an interesting side note, almost all individuals with Down Syndrome have plaques in their brains by middle age, but only about 50% of them develop Alzheimer's disease.  Part of the reason for this is likely due to the fact that people with Down syndrome more readily breakdown homocysteine. 


In contrast, people with Down’s syndrome have lower homocysteine levels than the general population, averaging between 2 and 3. This is due to the fact that a gene that regulates homocysteine metabolism is located on chromosome 21, an extra copy of which is carried by these individuals. 

(the author also has some interesting comments regarding homocysteine and Alzheimer's disease).


For people with Alzheimer's disease. supplementation with folic acid and B vitamins to lower homocysteine levels may not do too much good, but in conjunction with other antioxidant treatments it may do some good. 


Posted: Monday, December 3, 2012 12:33 PM
Joined: 8/31/2012
Posts: 39

Good Day Everyone and thank you for your replies.


There was a also a lively discussion on this topic in the Caregiver's Forum where I originally posted it.


If I decide to go the presentation, I'll post a note on my impressions of it - best wishes