To date, we still lack disease-modifying therapies for Alzheimer's disease (AD). Here, we report that long-term administration of benfotiamine improved the cognitive ability of patients with AD. Five patients with mild to moderate AD received oral benfotiamine (300 mg daily) over 18 months. All patients were examined by positron emission tomography with Pittsburgh compound B (PiB-PET) and exhibited positive imaging with β-amyloid deposition, and three received PiB-PET imaging at follow-up. The five patients exhibited cognitive improvement as assayed by the Mini-Mental Status Examination (MMSE) with an average increase of 3.2 points at month 18 of benfotiamine administration. The three patients who received follow-up PiB-PET had a 36.7% increase in the average standardized uptake value ratio in the brain compared with that in the first scan. Importantly, the MMSE scores of these three had an average increase of 3 points during the same period. Benfotiamine significantly improved the cognitive abilities of mild to moderate AD patients independently of brain amyloid accumulation. Our study provides new insight to the development of disease-modifying therapy.
Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; Amyloid deposition; Benfotiamine; PiB-PET; Therapy.