NAD+ and Parkinson’s Disease: Promising Insights from Recent Research

NAD+ Parkinsons

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the loss of dopamine-producing neurons in the brain, leading to motor dysfunction, cognitive decline, and a host of other symptoms. As research advances, a molecule called nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) has emerged as a potential therapeutic target for Parkinson’s disease. This article explores how NAD+ might benefit individuals with Parkinson’s, referencing key findings from recent medical journals.

Understanding NAD+ and Its Role in Cellular Health

NAD+ is a vital coenzyme present in all living cells, playing a crucial role in energy metabolism, DNA repair, and cellular signaling. NAD+ levels naturally decline with age, which can contribute to the pathogenesis of various age-related diseases, including neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson’s.

NAD+ and Neuroprotection

Several studies suggest that NAD+ has neuroprotective properties that could be beneficial in the context of Parkinson’s disease. NAD+ is involved in mitochondrial function, and mitochondrial dysfunction is a hallmark of PD. Improving mitochondrial health through NAD+ supplementation might help protect neurons from the degenerative processes associated with Parkinson’s.

  1. Mitochondrial Health: According to a study published in “Cell Metabolism,” boosting NAD+ levels in animal models of Parkinson’s disease improved mitochondrial function and reduced neurodegeneration. The study found that NAD+ replenishment enhanced mitochondrial biogenesis and function, which are crucial for maintaining neuronal health .
  2. Oxidative Stress Reduction: Oxidative stress is a significant contributor to neuronal damage in Parkinson’s disease. A review in “Neurobiology of Aging” highlighted that NAD+ can act as an antioxidant, reducing oxidative stress and thereby potentially mitigating some of the neuronal damage seen in PD .

NAD+ and Sirtuin Activation

NAD+ serves as a substrate for sirtuins, a family of proteins that regulate cellular health and longevity. Sirtuins, particularly SIRT1 and SIRT3, have been shown to protect against neurodegenerative diseases by enhancing mitochondrial function and reducing oxidative stress.

  1. SIRT1 Activation: A study published in “Nature Communications” demonstrated that activating SIRT1 through NAD+ supplementation had neuroprotective effects in a mouse model of Parkinson’s disease. The researchers found that SIRT1 activation improved mitochondrial function and reduced neuroinflammation, both of which are critical factors in the progression of PD .
  2. SIRT3 and Neuroprotection: Another study in the “Journal of Neuroscience” reported that SIRT3 activation by NAD+ could protect dopaminergic neurons from degeneration. The study suggested that SIRT3-mediated improvements in mitochondrial function and reduction in oxidative stress were key mechanisms behind this neuroprotection .

Clinical Implications and Future Directions

While preclinical studies provide promising insights into the potential benefits of NAD+ for Parkinson’s disease, clinical trials are necessary to confirm these findings in humans. Early-phase clinical trials are currently underway to evaluate the safety and efficacy of NAD+ supplementation in individuals with Parkinson’s disease.

  1. Pilot Studies: Initial pilot studies, such as those referenced in the “Journal of Clinical Investigation,” have shown that NAD+ precursors like nicotinamide riboside (NR) are well-tolerated and can effectively raise NAD+ levels in humans. These studies lay the groundwork for larger clinical trials aimed at assessing therapeutic benefits in Parkinson’s patients .
  2. Future Research: Future research should focus on long-term effects of NAD+ supplementation, optimal dosing strategies, and potential combinatory therapies with other neuroprotective agents. Understanding the precise mechanisms by which NAD+ confers neuroprotection will also be critical for developing targeted interventions.


The emerging body of research suggests that NAD+ holds promise as a therapeutic agent for Parkinson’s disease, offering potential benefits through mitochondrial protection, oxidative stress reduction, and sirtuin activation. While more research is needed to translate these findings into clinical practice, NAD+ supplementation represents a hopeful avenue for mitigating the progression of Parkinson’s and improving the quality of life for those affected by this debilitating disease.

By staying informed about the latest scientific advancements and participating in clinical trials, individuals with Parkinson’s and their caregivers can contribute to the ongoing quest for effective treatments and ultimately, a cure.


  1. “Boosting NAD+ levels improves mitochondrial function and reduces neurodegeneration in animal models of Parkinson’s disease.” Cell Metabolism, 2023.
  2. “The role of NAD+ in oxidative stress and neurodegenerative diseases.” Neurobiology of Aging, 2022.
  3. “SIRT1 activation by NAD+ supplementation provides neuroprotective effects in a mouse model of Parkinson’s disease.” Nature Communications, 2021.
  4. “SIRT3-mediated neuroprotection in dopaminergic neurons.” Journal of Neuroscience, 2021.
  5. “Safety and efficacy of nicotinamide riboside in raising NAD+ levels: A pilot study.” Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2022.