Objectives: To summarize the ongoing prevention of Alzheimer's disease (AD) by vitamin E and selenium (PREADViSE) trial as an ancillary study to SELECT (a large prostate cancer prevention trial) and to present the blinded results of the first year as an exposure study.
Design: PREADViSE was designed as a double blind randomized controlled trial (RCT).
Setting: SELECT terminated after median of 5.5 years of exposure to supplements due to a futility analysis. Both trials then converted into an exposure study.
Participants: In the randomized component PREADViSE enrolled 7,547 men age 62 or older (60 if African American). Once the trial terminated 4,246 of these men volunteered for the exposure study. Demographics were similar for both groups with exposure volunteers having baseline mean age 67.3 ± 5.2 years, 15.3 ± 2.4 years of education, 9.8% African Americans, and 22.0% reporting a family history of dementia.
Intervention: In the RCT men were randomly assigned to either daily doses of 400 IU of vitamin E or placebo and 200 µg of selenium or placebo using a 2x2 factorial structure.
Measurements: In the RCT, participants completed the memory impairment screen (MIS), and if they failed, underwent a longer screening (based on an expanded Consortium to Establish a Registry in AD [CERAD] battery). CERAD failure resulted in visits to their clinician for medical examination with records of these examinations forwarded to the PREADViSE center for further review. In the exposure study, men are contacted by telephone and complete the telephone version of the memory impairment screen (MIS-T) screen. If they fail the MIS-T, a modified telephone interview of cognitive status (TICS-M) exam is given. A failed TICS-M exam also leads to a visit to their clinician for an in-depth examination and forwarding of records for a centralized consensus diagnosis by expert clinicians. A subgroup of the men who pass the MIS-T also take the TICS-M exam for validation purposes.
Results: While this ancillary trial was open to all 427 SELECT clinical sites, only 130 (30.0%) of the sites chose to participate in PREADViSE. Staff turnover at the sites presented challenges when training persons unfamiliar with cognitive testing procedures to conduct the memory screens. In the RCT few participants (1.6%) failed the MIS screen and among those who passed this screen a significant practice effect was encountered. In the exposure study 3,581 men were reached by phone in year 1, 15.7% could not be reached after 5 calls, and of those contacted 6.0% refused the screen even after consenting to the procedures at their clinical site. Most notable is that the failure rate for the MIS-T increased fourfold to 7.2%. Of the 257 men who took the TICS-M, 84.0% failed and were asked to contact their physicians for a more detailed memory assessment, and approximately half of these had some form of dementia or cognitive impairment. Several of these dementia cases are not AD.
Conclusion: Partnering with SELECT led to an AD prevention trial conducted at a very reasonable cost by taking advantage of the experience and efficient clinical trial management found in a cancer cooperative group (Southwest Oncology Group or SWOG). Once unblinded, the RCT and exposure study data have the potential to yield new information on long term exposure to antioxidant supplements under controlled conditions.