The Neuroprotective Role of Creatine

Subcell Biochem. 2007;46:205-43. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4020-6486-9_11.

Abstract

Significant progress has been made in identifying neuroprotective agents and their translation to patients with neurological disorders. While the direct causative pathways of neurodegeneration remain unclear, they are under great clinical and experimental investigation. There are a number of interrelated pathogenic mechanisms triggering molecular events that lead to neuronal death. One putative mechanism reported to play a prominent role in the pathogenesis of neurological diseases is impaired energy metabolism. If reduced energy stores play a role in neuronal loss, then therapeutic strategies that buffer intracellular energy levels may prevent or impede the neurodegenerative process. Recent studies suggest that impaired energy production promotes neurological disease onset and progression. Sustained ATP levels are critical to cellular homeostasis and may have both direct and indirect influence on pathogenic mechanisms associated with neurological disorders. Creatine is a critical component in maintaining cellular energy homeostasis, and its administration has been reported to be neuroprotective in a wide number of both acute and chronic experimental models of neurological disease. In the context of this chapter, we will review the experimental evidence for creatine supplementation as a neurotherapeutic strategy in patients with neurological disorders, including Huntington's disease, Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Alzheimer's disease, as well as in ischemic stroke, brain and spinal cord trauma, and epilepsy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adenosine Triphosphate / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Cell Death / drug effects
  • Chronic Disease
  • Creatine / metabolism
  • Creatine / therapeutic use*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Energy Metabolism / drug effects*
  • Homeostasis / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / metabolism
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Neuroprotective Agents / metabolism
  • Neuroprotective Agents / therapeutic use*

Substances

  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • Adenosine Triphosphate
  • Creatine