‘Groundbreaking’: Citicoline supplements may improve attention in adolescents

By Stephen Daniells contact

- Last updated on GMT

Image: © iStockPhoto / mediaphotos
Image: © iStockPhoto / mediaphotos

Related tags: Kyowa hakko

Daily supplements of citicoline may improve attention in adolescent males, and boost motor speed and decreased impulsivity, says a new study using Kyowa Hakko’s Cognizin ingredient.

Scientists from the University of Utah and Kyowa Hakko report that 28 days of supplementation with either 250 mg or 500 mg Cognizin per day produced significant improvements in motor speed, attention and impulsivity, compared with the placebo.

“This study provides behavioral evidence from between-group analyses as well as weight-adjusted dose analyses for improved frontal lobe function with low doses of citicoline, as reflected in enhanced attentional abilities,”​ wrote the researchers in the Journal of Attention Disorders​.

“Furthermore, this study supports previous research demonstrating citicoline’s effects on improving bioenergetics in the frontal lobe. The frontal lobes are still maturing during adolescence, and enhanced visual selective attention, reduced impulsivity, and improved motor function may enable adolescents to remain on a healthy trajectory during a time in which there is significant neural development as well as increased risk-taking behavior.”

The study was funded by Kyowa Hakko Bio Co., Ltd. 


Lead researcher Deborah Yurgelun-Todd, PhD, from the University of Utah said they were pleased with the findings that indicate daily supplementation with Cognizin citicoline enhanced attentional processes in healthy adolescent males.

“This is the first study of its kind that has examined the effects of Cognizin citicoline in an adolescent population – natural supplementation is key, especially during adolescence, when the brain’s frontal lobe is still in development,”​ she said.

Danielle Citrolo, registered pharmacist and manager of technical services for Kyowa Hakko USA, added that the study’s findings are consistent with prior research using the ingredient that were conducted with healthy adult women.

“To see strong results, with minimal side effects, in an adolescent population opens the door for additional, ground-breaking research on brain health,”​ said Citrolo. “We’re pleased to know that daily Cognizin supplementation is a promising option for those seeking to positively impact attention and motor skills in healthy adolescents.”

Study details

Dr Yurgelun-Todd and her co-workers recruited 75 healthy male adolescents to participate in their double-blind, placebo-controlled, human clinical trial. The men were randomly assigned to receive placebo, or 250 mg per or 500 mg per day of Cognizin citicoline for 28 days.

The researchers adjusted the data to account for the weight of the participants, and found that a higher weight-adjusted dose significantly predicted increased accuracy on the Ruff 2&7 Accuracy test, improved signal detectability on the CPT-II Detectability task, and decreased impulsivity.

“Although we did not measure dopamine in this study, it is likely that citicoline may increase dopamine activity in healthy adolescent males and result in the changes observed in this study,”​ said Dr. Yurgelun-Todd.

“Citicoline has been shown in previous studies to increase levels of dopamine, which may be one of the mechanisms through which citicoline improves motor and attentional functions.”

Cognitive Health Online Summit

Brain © ChrisGorgio

Experts from Abbott Nutrition, GOED, Nordic Naturals, The University of Toronto, McMaster University, and NutraIngredients-USA will discuss a range of cognitive health topics during NutraIngredients-USA’s Cognitive Health Online Summit.

Topics include cognition during different lifestages, omega-3s, probiotics, and market dynamics.

The online event will take place on September 2, 2015. For more information and to register, please click here: NutraIngredients-USA’s Cognitive Health Online Summit.

Source: Journal of Attention Disorders
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1177/1087054715593633
“The Effect of Citicoline Supplementation on Motor Speed and Attention in Adolescent Males”
Authors: E. McGlade, A.M. Agoston, J. DiMuzio, M. Kizaki, E. Nakazaki, T. Kamiya, D. Yurgelun-Todd

Related topics: Suppliers, Research, Cognitive function

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