The effect of acetyl-L-carnitine administration on persons with Down syndrome

Res Dev Disabil. 2006 Nov-Dec;27(6):599-604. doi: 10.1016/j.ridd.2004.07.009. Epub 2006 Apr 18.


Since previous investigations reported improvements in cognition of patients with dementia after acetyl-L-carnitine therapy and since there is an increased risk for persons with Down syndrome to develop Alzheimer disease, this study was designed to investigate the effect of acetyl-L-carnitine administration on neurological, intellectual, and social functions in adults with Down syndrome. In this double-blind study we enrolled 40 individuals with Down syndrome and administered acetyl-L-carnitine to the study group during a six months period. Specified examinations and psychological tests were given to persons in both the study and control groups at the start of the investigation and at 3, 6, and 9 months. A detailed analysis of the data revealed that acetyl-L-carnitine administration did not enhance central nervous system functions and that it did not benefit persons with Down syndrome.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcarnitine / administration & dosage*
  • Adult
  • Alzheimer Disease / drug therapy
  • Attention / drug effects
  • Cognition / drug effects*
  • Down Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Intelligence Tests
  • Male
  • Nootropic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Social Behavior
  • Treatment Failure
  • Wechsler Scales


  • Nootropic Agents
  • Acetylcarnitine