Citicoline improves concentration

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    Citicoline improves concentration

    Citicoline improves concentration

    Citicoline supplementation improves your ability to concentrate and helps you make fewer faults when performing tasks that require focus and attention. Researchers from the University of Utah and the Japanese manufacturer Kyowa Hakko drew this conclusion from an experiment they did with sixty women aged between 40 and 60. A fairly modest daily dose of 250 mg citicoline works better than a 500-mg dose.

    Citicoline – structural formula shown at right – is a precursor of both uridine and phosphatidylcholine, both of which are building blocks for brain cells. Some neurologists believe that citicoline supplementation can inhibit the development of some forms of dementia and speed up post-stroke recovery. And indeed, there are a few human studies that indicate that citicoline does this to some extent. [Clin Interv Aging. 2012;7:113-8.] [Clin Interv Aging. 2013;8:131-7.] [Cerebrovasc Dis. 2013;35(2):146-54.] [Stroke. 2002 Dec;33(12):2850-7.]

    Study
    Citicoline is sometimes found in pre-workout supplements, usually with the claim that the substance boosts athletes' focus and concentration, and thus improves the quality of their training. But there's been little scientific research on the effects of citicoline on healthy adults. Which is why this study was carried out.

    The researchers divided their subjects into three groups, each containing 20 women. One group was given a placebo for 28 days; a second group took 250 mg citicoline daily; and a third group took 500 mg daily.

    After the supplementation period, the researchers measured the women's concentration ability by getting them to do the Continuous Performance Test II. For this test the women had to sit at a computer, and every time an X appeared on the screen they had to press the spacebar. Every time they missed a letter counted as an 'omission error'.

    If a Y appeared on the screen, the women were not allowed to press the spacebar. If they did, that counted as a 'commission error'.

    The letters appeared every couple of seconds and were visible for a fraction of a second. The test lasted 14 minutes.

    Results
    The supplementation reduced the number of omission errors and the number of commission errors. Interestingly, the low dose worked a little better than the higher dose.

    Mechanism
    The researchers suspect that citicoline improves focus as a result of the effect of dopamine. Dopamine is necessary for tasks that require concentration, and animal studies have shown that citicoline supplementation raises dopamine levels [Archives of Neurology, Vol. 57, No. 4, 2000, pp. 470-475.] and the number of dopamine receptors. [Br J Pharmacol. 1991 Nov; 104(3): 575–578.]

    Conclusion
    "The current study is the first to ex-amine the effects of low doses of citicoline on cognitive performance in healthy female adults", the researchers wrote. "Women who received citicoline showed improved attentional performance after 28 days of supplementation."

    "Results of the current study are consistent with prior studies showing improved cognitive performance after citicoline supple-mentation in individuals with cognitive deficits. Practical applications of this research include the possible use of citicoline supplementation to ameliorate cognitive deficits associated with healthy aging, but also to ameliorate cognitive deficits associated with psychiatric disorders."

    Source: Menopause. 2014 Sep;21(9):990-6.
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