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Neurocognitive Function and Quality of Life Outcomes in the ONTRAC Study for Skin Cancer Chemoprevention by Nicotinamide

NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
Centre for Medical Psychology & Evidence-Based Decision-Making, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
Sydney Medical School, Concord Clinical School, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
Concord Repatriation General Hospital, Sydney Concord, NSW 2139, Australia
Dermatology and Bosch Institute, University of Sydney at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Camperdown, NSW 2050, Australia
Dermatology, University of Sydney at Westmead Hospital, Westmead, NSW 2145, Australia
Melanoma Institute Australia, North Sydney, Wollstonecraft, NSW 2065, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Geriatrics 2019, 4(1), 31;
Received: 31 January 2019 / Revised: 20 March 2019 / Accepted: 22 March 2019 / Published: 25 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cognitive Aging and Cognitive Impairment)
PDF [199 KB, uploaded 25 March 2019]


Nicotinamide (vitamin B3) has photoprotective effects and reduces skin cancer incidence in high risk patients. Nicotinamide also improves cognition in animal models. As part of the ONTRAC (Oral Nicotinamide To Reduce Actinic Cancer) phase III placebo-controlled, randomized trial to assess nicotinamide’s efficacy in skin cancer prevention, we included clinical neurocognitive function and patient-reported quality of life assessments at baseline and after 12 months of intervention in individuals with previous skin cancer in order to assess any effect of oral nicotinamide (500 mg po twice daily) on cognitive function and quality of life. In our sample of 310 participants who completed neurocognitive function testing at baseline and at 12 months, we were not able to detect any significant effect of oral nicotinamide on cognitive function nor on quality of life. Further studies of nicotinamide’s effects on cognition in humans might include individuals with pre-existing mild cognitive impairment, and it may be that higher doses of nicotinamide are required to significantly influence cognitive function compared to doses required to reduce skin cancer. View Full-Text
Keywords: vitamin B3; cognitive aging; prevention vitamin B3; cognitive aging; prevention
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Martin, A.J.; Dhillon, H.M.; Vardy, J.L.; Dalziell, R.A.; Choy, B.; Fernández-Peñas, P.; Dixon, A.; Renton, C.; St George, G.; Chinniah, N.; Halliday, G.M.; Damian, D.L.; Chen, A.C. Neurocognitive Function and Quality of Life Outcomes in the ONTRAC Study for Skin Cancer Chemoprevention by Nicotinamide. Geriatrics 2019, 4, 31.

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