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Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 1992;42(1):89-93.

Pharmacokinetics of IV and oral acetyl-L-carnitine in a multiple dose regimen in patients with senile dementia of Alzheimer type.

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Institute of Gerontology and Geriatrics, Perugia University Medicine School.

Erratum in

  • Eur J Clin Pharmacol 1993;44(6):604.


Acetyl-L-carnitine (ALC), a physiological component of the L-carnitine family, has been proposed for treating Alzheimer's disease in pharmacological doses. As this condition requires prolonged therapy, its kinetics has been examined after a multiple dose regimen, involving different routes of administration, in 11 patients suffering from Senile Dementia of Alzheimer Type. The study design comprised a 3-day basal observation period, sham treatment with repeated blood sampling; treatment with 30 i.v. [corrected] for 10 days (plasma kinetics was studied on the 7th day), and 50 days of 1.5 g/day [corrected] p.o. given in three daily doses. Total acid soluble L-carnitine, L-carnitine and acetyl-L-carnitine in plasma and CSF were evaluated using an enantioselective radioenzyme assay. Short chain L-carnitine esters were calculated as the difference between total and free-L-carnitine. The plasma concentrations of individual components of the L-carnitine family did not change during the three days of the basal period, nor were they affected during the sham therapy period. Following the i.v. bolus injections, the plasma concentrations showed a biphasic curve, with average t1/2 of 0.073 h and 1.73 h, respectively. At the end of oral treatment, plasma acetyl-L-carnitine and L-carnitine short chain esters were significantly higher than during the run-in phase. The CSF concentrations paralleled those in plasma, suggesting that ALC easily crosses the blood-brain barrier. It is concluded that i.v. and oral administration of multiple doses of ALC can increase its plasma and CSF concentration in patients suffering from Alzheimer's disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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