Phosphatidyl Serine may help protect against dementia, Parkinsonís and familial dysautonomia

8 August 2016  |  Editor

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Phosphatidyl Serine may help protect against dementia, Parkinson’s and familial dysautonomia (FD)


Phosphatidyl serine has FDA approval for safe use as a dietary supplement to reduce the risk of dementia and cognitive dysfunction in the elderly. 

New research shows that its effect on genetic expression may help prevent Parkinson’s disease, and a condition mainly limited to the Ashkenazi Jewish population called familial dysautonomia.


Phosphatidyl serine is a component of all cell membranes, but particularly those in the myelin in brain cells. You can find PS as a supplement in capsule form, and it is also a component of lecithin. Studies using PS supplements have reported success with improving mental function in people with Alzheimer’s and non-Alzheimer’s dementia, using doses ranging from 100-400mg daily.


The latest research looks at familial dysautonomia, a condition where, due to a gene mutation, fewer IKAP proteins are produced, resulting in the killing off of brain cells. This tends to affect involuntary activity such as breathing, temperature control, digestion, balance and sensory perception, all with potentially debilitating effect. 


Phosphatidyl serine has now been shown to improve IKAP levels throughout the body, including the brain, as oral supplements of PS can pass through the blood brain barrier. 


Researchers believe that this will help prevent further destruction of nerve cells in the brain, and therefore slow down the progress of familial dysautonomia.   


The research team also observed that 2400 genes associated with transcription regulation and developmental processes were up-regulated in the brain cells of PS-treated mice. Some of these genes are associated with Parkinson’s disease, as well as the production of mitochondria, where the energy for cellular processes is harnessed.   


So for those concerned about declining brain function, phosphatidyl serine seems to be holding great promise.