Acetyl-L-Carnitine For Alzheimer's Disease
a substance naturally found in cells. Acetyl-l-carnitine[ACL] helps transport
fatty acids into the cells where the fats are burned for energy.
Acetyl-l-carnitine is not a drug and can be found in health food stores.
Acetyl-l-carnitine has been shown by many studies to protect brain cells from
various kinds of insults [3-4].Is acetyl-l-carnitine effective? Some studies
report good results. A study in 1990 shows that ACL increased name learning and
digit recall in alzheimer patients . A study in 1992,using 2.5 to 3.0 grams
ACL daily, shows improved forward digit span recall and better verbal fluency in
alzheimer patients . Two studies gave alzheimer patients ACL for a year. ACL
slowed the progression of the disease, as measured by the Blessed Dementia Scale
and the Mini Mental State Exam [7-8]. ACL seems to be most effective for
patients with early-onset alzheimer's disease  and in younger alzheimer
Some studies have found ACL to be ineffective. One recent
study gave 3.0 grams daily, and found no benefit for ACL . One study finds
that 10 milligrams of selegiline daily more effectively increases information
processing and recall in patients than does 2.5 grams of acetyl-l-carnitine
daily . However, another study finds that acetyl-l-carnitine more
effectively increases attention and recall in alzheimer patients than piracetam,
which is a popular mind-enhancing drug . The weight of evidence seems to
suggest that for many patients, acetyl-l-carntine can be helpful, and it has the
advantage of minimal side effects.