Vitamin E in neurologic disorders

Article section 1 of 6.  Next

By K K Jain MD

This clinical article reviews the neurobiology of vitamin E, neurologic disorders considered to be due to vitamin E deficiency, and the role of vitamin E in the management of neurologic disorders. Vitamin E is a scavenger of free radicals; it plays a role in the control of brain prostaglandin synthesis, regulation of nucleic acid synthesis, and gene expression. Neurologic and muscle dysfunction due to vitamin E deficiency may result from lack of antioxidant protection in susceptible tissues. Vitamin E has been used therapeutically in a large number of neurologic disorders wherein oxidative stress is implicated in pathophysiology, such as in neurodegenerative disorders. Vitamin E exerts antioxidant effects in combination with other antioxidants, including carotene, vitamin C, and selenium.

Key Points

  • Deficiency of vitamin E can produce neurologic disorders.
  • Vitamin E has antioxidant and neuroprotective effects.
  • Vitamin E has been found to be beneficial in the management of some neurologic disorders not characterized by deficiency of vitamin E.

In This Article

Historical note and nomenclature
Clinical applications
References cited