The new kid on the block. I recently came across citicoline when I was providing medical consults to patients in the world famous Texas Institute of Rehabilitation and Research. At first I was confused – I have never heard of this drug before. I tried to look it up in my electronic pharmacopeia and it wasn’t there. And yet it was prescribed to a staggering number of victims of stroke and head trauma on every floor. Whatever it was, the world’s leading institution in brain rehabilitation seemed to believe in it. It was time for me to find out more about this miraculous citicoline.
What does it do? Citicoline is classified as psychostimulant but unlike other stimulants, its effects are rather subtle. The mechanism of action is complex and has to do with protection of neuronal phospholipids and reduction of oxidative stress. The substrate provides choline – the vital building block for brain’s crucial neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Use of citicoline appears to slow down progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Citicoline also increases dopamine via a different mechanism, and therefore can also alleviate Parkinson’s disease and cravings in cocaine addiction. In addition, it has been shown to improve vision in glaucoma and other eye conditions. There are also some studies that suggest citicoline improves mental focus and can be useful in the treatment of ADHD.
Manufacturing and Dosing. Citicoline is sold as a nutritional supplement in US (sold under brand name Cognizin, NeuroAxon or Somazine) but it is a prescription drug in many European countries. The recommended dosage is 500-2000 mg daily.
What’s in it for you? The question relevant to us is whether citicoline can help with the brain fog that an otherwise healthy person may experience due to fatigue. Will it make anybody sharper and more focused or does it only work in people who had brain damage? (Remember, most studies were done on stroke victims and Alzheimers patients and not on general population.)
My conclusion. The product reviews on Amazon seemed to be a little underwhelming. The good news is there doesn’t seem to be any serious known side effects and the price is reasonable, so I’m still going to go ahead and give it a try. I will post an update about my experience later. READ MORE