Effect of Sodium Benzoate on Cognitive Function

Angie Szumlinski Health, Studies

Age and female gender are 2 major risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease (AD); two-thirds of older adults with AD are women. Even regarding the difference in longevity, studies suggest that women are still at a higher risk. Among various aging and dementia theories, altered N-MethylD-aspartate receptor (NMDAR)-related neurotransmission is involved in dementia manifestations, including cognitive and behavioral domains. NMDAR overactivation leads to neurotoxicity, while its hypofunction results in neurodegeneration, suggesting that NMDAR activity needs to be maintained at an optimal range.

One of the avenues to enhance NMDAR function is via inhibiting D-amino acids oxidase (DAAO) activity. In a randomized, double-masked, placebo-controlled trial, sodium benzoate, a pivotal DAAO inhibitor, significantly improved the cognitive function of patients with early-phase AD. A study was published in JAMA Network Open and discussed how difficult it is to treat patients with later-phase dementia, especially those with behavioral and psychological symptoms, however, the current study suggested that benzoate may improve cognitive function in women (but not men) with later-phase dementia with behavioral and psychological symptoms, therefore, lending support to the previous notion that women may be more susceptible to NMDAR modulation than males.

Think of all the people you know who have a diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Wouldn’t it be a wonderful thing if we could “cure” or at a minimum, slow down the process and allow people to live more fulfilling lives with their loved ones? Research, we can’t live without it! Stay well, mask up indoors, and stay tuned!