Editor’s Note: With the following interview with Dr. Richard F. Mestayer, III, medical director of NAD Research and of Springfield Wellness Center, we begin a series of blog posts updating BR+ Fellows, BR+NAD Brain Restoration Summit attendees, and others on the most exciting developments we’re tracking in NAD research. If you are aware of, or conducting, research you’d like to bring to our attention, please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Editor: The last Brain Restoration Summit was in 2020. What are the major NAD research developments since then, and which are you most excited about?
Mestayer: There are a number of different research threads being pursued—all of which are important and exciting in terms of advancing understanding of NAD’s role in the human body. Probably the project I’m most excited about is with Ross Grant’s team in Australia. His group is working to understand standard NAD levels in various populations, and we hope to begin a project with them by January.
We’re also seeking funding to study NAD’s effect on people with CTE, and a third project will quantify NAD’s ability to minimize long-term cravings after alcohol detox.
A little further back in the queue is a study of NAD’s benefits for people with PTSD. We’re also pursuing ongoing studies of NAD administration via SphenoCath, which can deliver NAD along with a little bit of Lidocaine into the sphenopalatine ganglion area to improve cognition, reduce or eliminate migraines, and improve the central nervous system effects of NAD.
Earlier this year we presented a case report of a patient receiving intranasal (IN) BR+NAD for pain associated with migraine headaches, followed by sublingual Real NAD for three months. The patient tolerated the procedure well and reported no return of migraine headaches up to a year post-treatment. She also had improved cognitive functioning. Another case report utilizing IN NAD will be presented at the Society for Neuroscience in San Diego this November.
These are quite a few projects to be pursuing simultaneously, and each of them has its own moving parts. The underpinning for all of them is getting the funding, which is always a work in progress.
Editor: Back to the first project—nailing down NAD levels in various populations—why is that significant?
Mestayer: Because nobody really knows what a normal NAD level is, yet. We’re trying to establish that, just like we can for hemoglobin and white blood cell counts. Doing so would enable us to say to a 50-year-old, for example, your NAD level is this; here’s what it should be at 50; and here’s what it was as a healthy 30-year-old. These are the measures you can take to boost your NAD level, and we’d hope to be able to predict what the clinical response would be.
Editor: Great. Thank you. Can you tell us more about the projects regarding CTE and alcohol that you’re hoping to fund?
Mestayer: Well, the details are confidential, but basically, we want to be able to measure and compare alcohol detox via intravenous NAD versus standard-of-care detox as defined by ASAM, the American Society for Addiction Medicine.
Anecdotally we know that NAD really drives down cravings and that mental clarity returns pretty quickly. We believe that liver enzymes and oxidative stress levels also improve, but we’d like to demonstrate all of these things in a study.
We’re waiting on funding, as I said; however, while we wait other interesting parameters may come into focus. For example, we might want to see whether NAD can address DNA changes in alcohol methylation. So, the field is always changing.
Editor: And, what about the CTE study?
Mestayer: Well, as you know, CTE is a diagnosis that is definitively made only upon autopsy. Nevertheless, we’ve had patients with a history of head injuries come to us for alcohol detox and experience dramatic improvements in their CTE symptoms. So, our first step will be to try to find some solid biomarkers for CTE while our patients are living. That information would enable us to measure and quantify how NAD is able to help. We believe we have some funding tentatively lined up, and in the meantime, we are working to decide upon a protocol and to request IRB approval. I’m hopeful that in the next six months we’ll be able to get something going.
Editor: What do you know about the research progress of investigators who participated in the 2020 BR+NAD Brain Restoration Summit?
Mestayer: I understand that Tom Ubl is making progress on his study regarding KR+NAD, which is his terminology for Kidney Restoration, which could present an alternative to dialysis. He’s got a protocol in place, and I’d love to hear how his work is going. Dave Workman, who is working with the NAD sphenopalatine ganglion stimulation strategy and is about to open up a clinic in Utah, has been combining NAD with ketamine and getting some interesting results. He’ll share more of that in a later post. Again, this is all anecdotal. We need studies to document these results.
Editor: If people are interested in funding this research, what can they do to help?
Mestayer: We have a nonprofit set up for people to contribute to and receive a charitable tax deduction. Or people can reach out to me personally at email@example.com.