Alpha-lipoic acid as a new treatment option for Alzheimer [corrected] type dementia

Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 2001 Jun;32(3):275-82. doi: 10.1016/s0167-4943(01)00104-2.


Oxidative stress and energy depletion are characteristic biochemical hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease (AD), thus antioxidants with positive effects on glucose metabolism such as thioctic (alpha-lipoic) acid should exert positive effects in these patients. Therefore, 600 mg alpha-lipoic acid was given daily to nine patients with AD and related dementias (receiving a standard treatment with acetylcholinesterase inhibitors) in an open study over an observation period of, on avarage, 337+/-80 days. The treatment led to a stabilization of cognitive functions in the study group, demonstrated by constant scores in two neuropsychological tests (mini-mental state examination: MMSE and AD assessment scale, cognitive subscale: ADAScog). Despite the fact that this study was small and not randomized, this is the first indication that treatment with alpha-lipoic acid might be a successful 'neuroprotective' therapy option for AD and related dementias.