Acetyl-L-carnitine and alpha-lipoic acid supplementation of aged beagle dogs improves learning in two landmark discrimination tests

FASEB J. 2007 Nov;21(13):3756-62. doi: 10.1096/fj.07-8531com. Epub 2007 Jul 10.


Beagle dogs between 7.6 and 8.8 years of age administered a twice daily supplement of alpha-lipoic acid (LA) and acetyl-L-carnitine (ALC) over approximately 2 months made significantly fewer errors in reaching the learning criterion on two landmark discrimination tasks compared to controls administered a methylcellulose placebo. Testing started after a 5 day wash-in. The dogs were also tested on a variable delay version of a previously acquired spatial memory task; results were not significant. The improved performance on the landmark task of dogs supplemented with LA + ALC provides evidence of the effectiveness of this supplement in improving discrimination and allocentric spatial learning. We suggest that long-term maintenance on LA and ALC may be effective in attenuating age-associated cognitive decline by slowing the rate of mitochondrial decay and cellular aging.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcarnitine / administration & dosage*
  • Acetylcarnitine / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Dogs
  • Learning
  • Placebos
  • Thioctic Acid / administration & dosage*
  • Thioctic Acid / pharmacology


  • Placebos
  • Acetylcarnitine
  • Thioctic Acid