Anecdotal animal and human studies have implicated the symptomatic and neuroprotective roles of niacin in Parkinson’s disease (PD). Niacin has a high affinity for GPR109A, an anti-inflammatory receptor. Researchers hypothesize that GPR109A message and expression are up-regulated in individuals with PD. Niacin is a precursor for NDA-NADH which is needed for dopamine production, therefor niacin may serve three purposes: reduce inflammation through GPR109A-related mechanisms, increase dopamine synthesis in the striatum through NADPH supply, and increase NAD/NADH ratio to boost mitochondrial functions. GPR109A and its agonists are known to exert anti-inflammatory actions in the skin, gut and retina, but these roles are neither anticipated nor established in the central nervous system (CNS). These researchers, for the first time propose the roles of GPR109A and its agonist including niacin in CNS pathology, Moreover they predict that the neuroprotective roles of either niacin or butyrates in CNS occur via GPR109A.
Wakade C, Chong R. A novel treatment target for Parkinson’s disease. J Neurol Sci. 2014 Dec 15;347(1-2):34-8