Citicoline is a chemical that can naturally be found in the brain, it was developed in Japan as a drug for treating strokes. It was later introduced to European countries which prescribe this drug for thinking related problems. However, in the United States, one can get Citicoline as a dietary supplement.
It works by increasing a brain chemical by the name of phosphatidylcholine which is vital for proper brain functioning. Citicoline can also decrease brain tissue damage during a brain injury.
How Citicoline Works?
- Age-related memory loss due to neural degeneration
Citicoline helps with age-related memory problems which are caused by degeneration of neurons, it helps with memory loss in people aged 50-80 years.
- Stroke and post-stroke recovery
As mentioned above in the overview, it was originally developed to treat stroke and post-stroke recovery. Patients who encountered a stroke (ischemic stroke) and take citicoline are more likely to recover within months in the opposite of those who do not take it.
Possible effects for
- Bipolar disorder
Evidence in early studies suggests that Citicoline might not improve depression or manic behavior in people who suffer from bipolar disorder.
- Cocaine addiction
Taking Citicoline might reduce cocaine use in people who are bipolar or suffer from cocaine addiction.
There is some evidence that suggests it could help people who suffer from glaucoma to improve their vision.
Early research implies that taking Citicoline could improve overall learning, speaking, and memory in people who had suffered a brain injury due to trauma.
- Muscle strength
Citicoline is likely to help muscle strength and recovery in people who suffer from cerebral hemorrhage. It works best when give intravenously (by IV).
- Parkinson’s disease
Aside from tremor, using this drug in addition with the usual medical treatment for Parkinson’s disease will improve the other symptoms.
Side Effects and Interactions
Usage of Citicoline may cause diarrhea and nausea in some people. It is not recommended for children, pregnant women, and women that are breastfeeding. Interactions are still not well researched for these groups of people.
Consider consulting your doctor first if you take any prescribed medicine. The usage of the two substances together may cause an unpleasant interaction.
Citicoline and Memory
Citicoline’s mechanism of action is a neurotransmitter by the name of Acetylcholine. The human body absorbs Citicoline and turns it into choline and cytidine. Choline stimulates the increment of Acetylcholine levels in the body which results with greater cognitive functioning, memory formation, consolidation, and improved focus.
Choline – one of the ingredients in which Citicoline breaks into after absorbement is an essential for development of the brain. Evidence shows that changes in lifestyle or a diet can improve and lead to epigenetic shitf in neuronal genes. Meaning, it can result in long-term improvements on the brain.
Stacking is popular among many brain supplement users today. The purpose of stacking is mainly to increase the effectiveness of the supplement or to minimize side effects that might come along with it. Supplements that go well in a stack with Citicoline are the Racetam group of neuroenhancers.
Pramiracetam is very often combined with this supplement into a stack. This is because pramiracetam requires a good deal of Choline among with Acetylcholine to deliver maximum effects. Pramiracetam belongs to the racetam group of nootropics. A very common side effect of using Pramiracetam are headaches, combining this racetam with Citicoline will bring side effects to a minimum.
Stacking should be done with great caution, and you should take in consideration the right ratio for these two substances. Researchers suggest a ratio of 2:1 in favor for Pramiracetam.
Citicoline and Mood
Citicoline also affects other releveant neurotransmitters in the brain such as Dopamine and Norepinephrine. Dopamine may be already familiar to many people as it is associated to one’s attention, self-reward system, and mood. Citicoline in a way that it increases Dopamine levels, so that the individual experiences cognitive improvement and better mood.
Another important neurotransmitter to note is Noradrenaline – a neurotransmitter which levels are also raised with choline. It is associated with brain energy therefore using citicoline could also help some individuals to kick-start their day.
Clinical Trials and Studies
Over time, more than 11,000 people – patients and volunteers have contributed to studying Citicoline in stroke treatment. It increases the probability to completely recover from a moderate to severe ischemic stroke.
Citicoline has also contributed to the studies with a decline in cerebrovasculopaties for the first time in the 90’s and research continues to this day.
People who suffer from vascular dementia have sudden changes in thinking skills. These changes can begin as mild and then gradually pass to more severe, following several minor strokes which lead to cumulative damage. The brain has one of the most complex vascular networks that supply it constantly with nutrients. When a small clot forms in the vessels, it can lead to a stroke which further causes damage to the brain due to insufficient nutrients.
Citicoline can help relieve the symptoms or even provide a full recovery.
It is very hard to establish a regular dosage since it varies for every treatment/problem you use it for. The most common dosage is between 1000mg and 2000mg per day for a decline in thinking skills.
For cerebrovascular diseases (the vessels that supply the brain with nutrients and oxygen), the recommended dosage is 600mg per day.
For stroke treatment (ischemic stroke) the dosage should be between 500mg and 2000mg per day, starting 24 hours after the stroke.
It is very important for any supplement/drug to be taken at a certain frequency and of the right amount in order to achieve the desired effects. As noted above, the dosages of Citicoline for certain situations can vary. While using Citicoline as a supplement, we will discuss dosages ranging from 250mg to 2000mg.
It is also possible to stack Citicoline with other supplements. The purpose of stacking is to maximize the effects of the substance or help reduce the side effects in different individuals.
You should consult professionals for more concrete dosages.