In animal studies, choline maintains the nerve cell membrane, increases the availability of acetylcholine, which staves off dementia, helps repair damaged nerve cells, and counteracts beta-amyloid, which is a key chemical in the development of Alzheimer’s.
Since 1980, the effect of citicoline has been studied in many types of dementia, including Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia. In 2010, there was an excellent review of the world literature on this topic. The following summarizes the study design, types of patients, and results from this review:
— Alzheimer’s DiseaseÂ Number of patients studied: 30 to 818Â Duration of study: 12 to 30 weeksÂ Dosage of citicoline: 1,000 to 1,200 milligrams (mg) a dayÂ Results: Citicoline-treated patients had a positive effect on their memory, behavior and global functions, but not on attention span. The greatest improvement in cognitive function was shown in Alzheimer’s patients with mild dementia. Citicoline increased blood flow to the brain. And there were no significant adverse reactions with it.
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— Vascular DementiaÂ Number of patients: 217 to 891Â Duration of study: 1 to 3 monthsÂ Dosage of citicoline: 100 to 1,000 mg a dayÂ Results: Citicoline had a positive effect on memory and aÂ modest effect on behavior. It was well tolerated with noÂ adverse effects. Choline alphoscerate had a positive effectÂ on cognitive and motor recovery after an acute stroke
Despite these promising results, it is too early to make any general recommendation about using citicoline to treat cognitive impairment at this point. We need new and better designed, larger clinical trials with more diverse populations of patients with dementia and more standardized assessment tools (including the use of new imaging techniques) before we can recommend citicoline
as part of the treatment in cognitively impaired patients.