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Expert Opin Investig Drugs. 2008 Jun;17(6):827-43. doi: 10.1517/13543784.17.6.827 .

Acetyl-L-carnitine and alpha-lipoic acid: possible neurotherapeutic agents for mood disorders?

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  • 1University of Toronto, Institute of Medical Science, Toronto, ON, Canada.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Mood disorders are associated with decrements in cognitive function, which are insufficiently treated with contemporary pharmacotherapies.

OBJECTIVES:

To evaluate the putative neurotherapeutic effects of the mitochondrial cofactors, L-carnitine, acetyl-L-carnitine, and alpha-lipoic acid; and to provide a rationale for investigating their efficacy in the treatment of neurocognitive deficits associated with mood disorders.

METHODS:

A PubMed search of English-language articles published between January 1966 and March 2007 was conducted using the search terms carnitine and lipoic acid.

RESULTS:

L-carnitine and alpha-lipoic acid may offer neurotherapeutic effects (e.g., neurocognitive enhancement) via disparate mechanisms including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and metabolic regulation. Preliminary controlled trials in depressed geriatric populations also suggest an antidepressant effect with acetyl-L-carnitine.

CONCLUSIONS:

L-carnitine and alpha-lipoic acid are pleiotropic agents capable of offering neuroprotective and possibly cognitive-enhancing effects for neuropsychiatric disorders in which cognitive deficits are an integral feature.

PMID:
18491985
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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