A daily 1 gram dose of Citicoline for nine months was associated in no declines in elderly people with memory lapses, whereas participants in the control group experienced significant declines in their mental functioning, according to findings published in Clinical Investigations in Aging.
“Our study shows that citicoline is effective and safe in mild vascular cognitive impairment,” wrote the researchers, led by Antonino Maria Cotroneo from ASL 2 Turin.
“Citicoline activates biosynthesis of phospholipids in neuronal membranes, increases brain metabolism as well as norepinephrine and dopamine levels in the central nervous system, and has neuroprotective effects during hypoxia and ischemia.
“Therefore, citicoline may be recommended for patients with mild vascular cognitive impairment.”
The ingredient, which won the “Product Differentiation Excellence” award from Frost&Sullivan in 2011, has been available for dietary supplements since 2003, and is generally-recognized as safe (GRAS) for use in a range of food and beverage applications.
According to Kyowa Hakko, its citicoline ingredient helps increase brain energy, provides structural components for synthesizing cell membranes in the brain, and helps the formation of brain nutrients that regulate cognitive function.
The Italian researchers recruited 349 people with mild vascular cognitive impairment but no Alzheimer’s with an average age of 79. Participants were randomly assigned to receive either 500 mg of citicoline (Kyowa Hakko ) twice a day or no intervention for nine months.
Mental function was assessed using the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) score. After nine months, the control group displayed a significant decline in MMSE score, while such declines were not observed in the citicoline group, said the researchers.
“Our present study of citicoline is one of the few trials conducted for a period longer than 6 months,” wrote the researchers.
“With regards to its mechanism of action, we believe that the most pronounced benefits of citicoline, ie. activation of biosynthesis of phospholipids in neuronal membranes, increase in brain metabolism, and neuroprotective effects during hypoxia and ischemia, are likely to be accrued with prolonged use.
“This is confirmed by positive results in our treated group and by the decrease in MMSE scores in our control group at only 9 months.”
Source: Clinical Investigations in Aging
Volume 2013:8, Pages 131-137, doi: 10.2147/CIA.S38420
“Effectiveness and safety of citicoline in mild vascular cognitive impairment: the IDEALE study”
Authors: Cotroneo AM, Castagna A, Putignano S, Lacava R, Fantò F, Monteleone F, Rocca F, Malara A, Gareri P