A new study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease concludes that oral benfotiamine, a high potency lipid-soluble form of thiamine (vitamin B1) commonly used in the treatment of peripheral neuropathy, is safe and potentially efficacious in improving cognitive outcomes among persons with mild Alzheimer’s Disease (AZ) or mild cognitive impairment. These results are consistent with prior work on the potentially positive effects of benfotiamine on AZ and support the observation that, in addition to many other factors, the impairment of thiamine dependent processes in the brain is likely associated with AZ.
This phase II multi-institutional study was the largest to date to look at the therapeutic benefits of using benfotiamine in patients suffering from AZ. It followed, over a 12-month period, a cohort of 70 subjects–in which 34 received oral benfotiamine and 36 received placebo. The study found that subjects in the benfotiamine group exhibited less cognitive decline than those in the placebo group. The effect was nearly statistically significant (p=0.125). This study adds to the growing amount of evidence indicating that benfotiamine may improve both peripheral and central neurological function in selective patients.
Thousands of physicians have had great success using benfotiamine in the treatment of peripheral neuropathy due to diabetes, excessive alcohol use and other conditions in which thiamine deficiency is a factor. Physicians may want to observe these patients for improved cognitive function as well.
Further information on the potential therapeutic benefits of benfotiamine in patients with Alzheimer’s Disease (AZ) was discussed in a previous Clinical Update and can be found here. Discussions on improving outcomes in the treatment of peripheral neuropathy can be found here.