The antioxidant alpha lipoic acid may aid in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, particularly in their early stages, report Australian scientists. Despite extensive study into the causes and progression of Alzheimer’s, a neuroprotective treatment—particularly for early-stage disease—is not yet available for clinical use.
The scientists noted that alpha-lipoic acid acts in several ways to improve brain health in Alzheimer’s sufferers. Alzheimer’s is associated with deficits of the brain neurotransmitter acetylcholine and its receptors. Lipoic acid activates an enzyme that facilitates increased acetylcholine production. Lipoic acid also reduces inflammation and acts as a powerful antioxidant, while increasing the availability of glucose for use by brain cells.
These observations suggest that alpha-lipoic acid may come to play an important role in averting mind-robbing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Holmquist L, Stuchbury G, Berbaum K, et al. Lipoic acid as a novel treatment for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. Pharmacol Ther. 2006 Sep 19; [Epub ahead of print]
Reprinted with exclusive permission of Life Extension.