Brain Bank

A form of vitamin B3 may lead to better treatments


A new study has found that niacin, a form of vitamin B3, boosts energy in nerve cells and helps to prevent them dying off. This could lead to new treatments for Parkinson's.

Commenting on the study, published in CellReports, Claire Bale, Head of Research Communications at Parkinson's UK, said:

"These new findings build upon previous experiments which show how important vitamin B3 may be for keeping brain cells healthy and working properly.

"However, as with previous studies, this research was carried out in the lab using skin cells and fruit flies so we now really need to understand whether these encouraging findings hold true in people.

"There is currently a clinical trial underway in the US investigating the effect of treatment with niacin in people with Parkinson's and results are expected in late 2019.

"Some vitamins, when taken in large doses, can have side effects so it’s vital that people consult a health professional for advice before deciding to take any form of dietary supplement."



For more information please contact:

Molly Horsburgh, Senior Media and PR Officer, Parkinson's UK

  • 0207 963 39271
  • Out of hours: 07961 460248 

About Parkinson's

Every hour, 2 people in the UK are told they have Parkinson's.

It affects 145,000 people in the UK - which is around 1 adult in every 350.

Parkinson's is a degenerative neurological condition, for which there currently is no cure. The main symptoms of the condition are tremor, slowness of movement, and rigidity.

Parkinson's UK is the UK's leading charity supporting those with the condition. Its mission is to find a cure and improve life for everyone affected by Parkinson's through cutting edge research, information, support and campaigning.

For advice, information and support, visit or call our free, confidential helpline on 0808 800 0303.