We compared cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and serum levels, and the CSF/serum ratio of alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E), measured by HPLC, in 36 patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and 32 matched controls. The mean CSF vitamin E levels and the CSF/serum vitamin E ratio did not differ significantly between the two study groups. The serum levels of vitamin E and the serum vitamin E/cholesterol ratio were significantly lower in MS patients when compared with controls (P < 0.05 and P < 0.01, respectively). These values were not correlated with age, age at onset and duration of the disease in the patients group. These results suggest that CSF vitamin E concentrations are not a marker of activity of MS activity.