the effect of n-acetylcysteine (nac) on human cognition - a systematic review

Skvarc, David, Dean, Olivia, Byrne, Linda, Gray, Laura, Lane, S, Lewis, M, Simoes Fernandes, Brisa, Berk, Michael and Marriott, A 2017, the effect of n-acetylcysteine (nac) on human cognition - a systematic review, Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, vol. 78, pp. 44-56, doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2017.04.013.

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Title the effect of n-acetylcysteine (nac) on human cognition - a systematic review
Author(s) Skvarc, DavidORCID iD for Skvarc, David
Dean, OliviaORCID iD for Dean, Olivia
Byrne, LindaORCID iD for Byrne, Linda
Gray, LauraORCID iD for Gray, Laura
Lane, S
Lewis, M
Simoes Fernandes, BrisaORCID iD for Simoes Fernandes, Brisa
Berk, MichaelORCID iD for Berk, Michael
Marriott, A
Journal name Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews
Volume number 78
Start page 44
End page 56
Total pages 13
Publisher Elsevier
Place of publication Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Publication date 2017-07
ISSN 0149-7634
Keyword(s) Antioxidant
Executive function
Oxidative stress
Post-operative cognitive dysfunction
Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Behavioral Sciences
Neurosciences & Neurology
Post-operative cognitive dysfunction dementia
Summary Oxidative stress, neuroinflammation and neurogenesis are commonly implicated as cognitive modulators across a range of disorders. N-acetylcysteine (NAC) is a glutathione precursor with potent antioxidant, pro-neurogenesis and anti-inflammatory properties and a favourable safety profile. A systematic review of the literature specifically examining the effect of NAC administration on human cognition revealed twelve suitable articles for inclusion: four examining Alzheimer's disease; three examining healthy participants; two examining physical trauma; one examining bipolar disorder, one examining schizophrenia, and one examining ketamine-induced psychosis. Heterogeneity of studies, insufficiently powered studies, infrequency of cognition as a primary outcome, heterogeneous methodologies, formulations, co-administered treatments, administration regimes, and assessment confounded the drawing of firm conclusions. The available data suggested statistically significant cognitive improvements following NAC treatment, though the paucity of NAC-specific research makes it difficult to determine if this effect is meaningful. While NAC may have a positive cognitive effect in a variety of contexts; larger, targeted studies are warranted, specifically evaluating its role in other clinical disorders with cognitive sequelae resulting from oxidative stress and neuroinflammation.
Language eng
DOI 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2017.04.013
Field of Research 170199 Psychology not elsewhere classified
110319 Psychiatry (incl Psychotherapy)
11 Medical And Health Sciences
17 Psychology And Cognitive Sciences
Socio Economic Objective 920410 Mental Health
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2017 Elsevier
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Psychology
School of Medicine
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