Treatment of mild cognitive impairment: value of citicoline

[Article in Spanish]

Abad Santos F, Novalbos J, Gallego Sandin S, Garcia AG.

Hospital Universitario de la Princesa
 Madrid, Espana.
Rev Neurol 2002 Oct 1;35(7):675-82


AIMS. The course of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) involves a slight loss of memory without any significant effects on other cognitive functions. Around 12% of these patients advance annually toward Alzheimer s disease, and for this reason it is important to search for medications that can prevent or slow down the evolution to dementia. Memory training programs, with relaxation techniques, the repetition of facts, information or pictures, categorizing information and the use of mnemonic rules can be effective. Drugs that can improve the cognitive faculties include piracetam, selegiline, vitamin E, Ginkgo biloba extract, estrogens, nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), acetylcholinesterase inhibitors and memantine. The aim of this study is to evaluate whether citilcoline (CDP-choline) can be effective in this clinical situation. 

METHOD. It has been shown in several animal models that citicoline improves scoring in learning and memory tests. Likewise, citicoline has been shown to improve memory and other cognitive functions in patients with chronic cerebrovascular disease or dementia and in old people suffering from memory deficit without dementia. Furthermore, a meta analysis of 12 clinical trials conducted by the Cochrane Collaboration, researchers reached the conclusion that citicoline improves memory, behaviour and the overall clinical impression in old people suffering from chronic brain diseases. 

CONCLUSION. Citicoline (CDP-choline) could be effective in the treatment of MCI, although more studies are needed in order to check whether the effect continues in the long term and whether it manages to slow down the progression to dementia.

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