Vitamin B3 (nicotinamide) may prevent nerve cell damage leading to blindness in glaucoma, according to the world’s first clinical study in the field published in Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology.
The results of the current study show significant improvement in the visual function of glaucoma patients who received a daily high dose of 3 grams of nicotinamide for 12 weeks in addition to their regular treatment to reduce eye pressure.
“This study clearly demonstrates a robust protective effect for nicotinamide in existing glaucoma patients. This is very exciting as it provides more evidence to support longer-term clinical trials,” says Assistant Professor Pete Williams at Karolinska Institutet and St. Erik Eye Hospital, one of the researchers behind the study.
57 glaucoma patients from Melbourne, Australia, were included in the study, all of whom received both placebo and nicotinamide alternately over the course of the study. The visual function was assessed using electroretinography, a diagnostic test which measures electrical activity in the cells of the retina, and visual field testing to determine any changes that occurred.