Research Review: Long-Term Cognitive Improvement Using Benfotiamine on Patients with Alzheimer’s Disease
Alan Gaby, MD
Author: Pan X, et al
Reference: Long-term cognitive improvement after benfotiamine administration in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Neurosci Bull 2016;32:591-596.
Design: Open-label trial.
Participants: Five Chinese patients with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease.
Study Medication and Dosage: Benfotiamine (a derivative of thiamine) at a dose of 300 mg per day for 18 months.
Primary Outcome Measure: Cognitive function, as determined by the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE).
Key Findings: All patients improved, with an average increase of 3.2 points at month 18 (from 17.0 to 20.2). The maximum score on the MMSE is 30, with 24-30 indicating normal cognitive function, 19-23 indicating mild cognitive impairment, and 10-18 indicating moderate cognitive impairment.
Practice Implications: Benfotiamine (S-benzoylthiamine-O-monophosphate) is a lipid-soluble derivative of thiamine that has been reported to be more bioavailable than water-soluble thiamine. This compound has been used with some success to treat diabetic neuropathy. The results of the present study suggest that benfotiamine can produce modest improvement in cognitive function in patients with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease. Controlled trials are needed to rule out the possibility of a placebo effect.