Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide and its related precursors for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease

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Abstract

Purpose of review

The current review discusses the biology and metabolism of the essential pyridine nucleotide nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) in the central nervous system. We also review recent work suggesting important neuroprotective effects that may be associated with the promotion of NAD+ levels through NAD+ precursors against Alzheimer's disease.

Recent findings

Perturbations in the physiological homoeostatic state of the brain during the ageing process can lead to impaired cellular function, and ultimately leads to loss of brain integrity and accelerates cognitive and memory decline. Increased oxidative stress has been shown to impair normal cellular bioenergetics and enhance the depletion of the essential nucleotides NAD+ and ATP. NAD+ and its precursors have been shown to improve cellular homoeostasis based on association with dietary requirements, and treatment and management of several inflammatory and metabolic diseases in vivo. Cellular NAD+ pools have been shown to be reduced in the ageing brain, and treatment with NAD+ precursors has been hypothesized to restore these levels and attenuate disruption in cellular bioenergetics.

Summary

NAD+ and its precursors may represent an important therapeutic strategy to maintain optimal cellular homoeostatic functions in the brain. NAD+ precursors are available in a variety of foods and may be translated to the clinic in the form of supplements.

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