Nicotinamide, or vitamin B3, is a precursor of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD(+)) and is involved in a multitude of intra- and inter-cellular processes, which regulate some of the cell's metabolic, stress, and immune responses to physiological or pathological signals. As a precursor of NAD(+), which is a key coenzyme in the production of adenosine triphosphate or cellular energy, nicotinamide has been investigated for potential neuroprotective effects in cellular, animal, and human studies. Objectives We aimed to summarize the current evidence on the effect of dietary and supplemental nicotinamide on cognitive function. Methods A literature review was conducted on the effects of nicotinamide and its derivatives as a preventive and therapeutic agent for disorders of neurocognitive function. Specific conditions examined include age-related cognitive decline, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and ischaemic and traumatic brain injury. Results Data from animal and human interventional studies and epidemiological research suggests that nicotinamide may be beneficial in preserving and enhancing neurocognitive function. Discussion Nicotinamide is non-toxic, inexpensive and widely available, and interventional studies in humans, using supplemental doses of nicotinamide, are now warranted.
Keywords: Memory; Niacinamide; Vitamin B3.