Citicoline is a natural chemical involved in the functioning of the brain. Citicoline helps improve memory loss in older people, improves thinking, vision in patients with glaucoma. It can also improve the brain function in patients healing from strokes and Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease, bipolar disorder, lazy eye, and other conditions affecting the brain. Citicoline seems to improve memory in people above 50 to 85 years old.
Amongst ischemic stroke patients, Citicoline can help reach complete recovery within three months after having a stroke. Patients who cannot receive a medicine called rtPA for their stroke are prescribed Citicoline.
Citicoline is traded under the brand name Neurocoline amongst others.
Takeda Chemical Industries Ltd originally patented Citicoline in 1969. It is sold as a prescription-only drug in Japan and Europe. However, in the USA, Citicoline is primarily used as a dietary supplement.
Forms and dose:
Citicoline is available as a tablet, injection or as drops. It can be administered orally or given as an injection into the vein or as a shot into the muscle.
The oral dose for treating a decline in memory and thinking caused by ageing is 1000-2000 mg per day. For treating a group of eye disorders that lead to glaucoma the dose is 500-1600 mg per day, and For stroke patients, the initial dose of 500-2000 mg is started within 24 hours of a stroke.
The intravenous dose can be given as a shot into the muscle for glaucoma or as an injection into the vein for improving memory and thinking amongst old patients recovering from a stroke.
The cost of Citicoline:
In the USA, the average cost of the Citicoline supplement for a supply of 50 Capsules, of 500mg is around USD 27 in 2020. This medicine is a bit more expensive in India, where the version costs USD 240 for a supply for 100 tablets of 500mg strength. The branded version of this medicine costs USD70 for the same supply.
How does it work?
Citicoline actions increase a brain chemical called phosphatidylcholine. phosphatidylcholine is important for brain function. It may increase some of the other chemicals that send messages in the brain. It can function as a stabilizer of cell membranes and reduces the presence of free radicals. In particular, research suggests that citicoline can stimulate the release of dopamine neurotransmitters in the brain. Citicoline activates the central cholinergic system, while also increasing plasma adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) levels and potentiates serum thyrotrophin (TSH) levels.
The stimulation caused by its actions affect the central nicotinic and muscarinic receptors also increase growth hormone (GH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) serum levels. These actions on cholinergic system have valuable therapeutic usefulness in those conditions where alterations of acetylcholine metabolism are considered one of the primary causes of disease like Alzheimer's.
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