Acetyl-l-carnitine and dementia

Research over the last few years shows that acetyl-l-carnitine slows the progression of Alzheimer's or dementia in two ways.

Firstly, it reduces the build up, degradation and clearance of amyloid plaque from the brain - it breaks down tau proteins and amyloid beta. In animal studies improvide cognitive function and memory were clearly demonstrated. Speed of further degeneration then slowed.

In human trials doses of 2-3 gms per day produced similar results, plus studies showed increased ATP energy to cells. This suggests that acetyl-l-carnitine is effective in the cause, unlike drugs which to date have only tried to mask the symptoms.

Secondly, acetyl-l-carnitine actually improves the effectiveness of at least two treatment drugs - revastigmine and donepezil by 38-50 per cent.

In the above studies, acetyl-l-carnitine performed much better in early situations of the disease. The compound is derived from an amino acid and is known to be effective in lipid movement and brain mitochondrial health.

It is derived from beef, chicken, cows' dairy, pork and sea food.

However, excessive amounts can lead to heart damage according to 2015 research.

Refs: 

  1. Abdul HM, Calabrese V, Calvani M, Butterfield DA. Acetyl-L-carnitine-induced up-regulation of heat shock proteins protects cortical neurons against amyloid-beta peptide 1-42-mediated oxidative stress and neurotoxicity: implications for Alzheimer’s disease. J Neurosc Res. 2006 Aug 1;84(2):398-408.
  2. Bianchetti A, Rozzini R, Trabucchi M. Effects of acetyl-L-carnitine in Alzheimer’s disease patients unresponsive to acetylcholinesterase inhibitors. Cur Med Res Op. 2003;19(4):350-3.