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Identifying ways to prevent Alzheimer's disease is becoming increasingly critical in our aging population. Antioxidant vitamins hold promise for lowering the risk of Alzheimer's disease and cognitive decline in older persons. In animal models and cell lines, these vitamins, such as vitamins E and C, prevent neuronal damage caused by free radicals, delaying brain aging and, perhaps, memory loss. However, epidemiological data on antioxidant vitamins and cognition are conflicting and are not conclusive. This report reviews current research, in particular, the large, prospective, observational studies and randomized, controlled trials to assess the evidence regarding the relation of antioxidant vitamins to dementia or cognitive decline.