Evidence of the neuroprotective role of citicoline in glaucoma patients

Prog Brain Res. 2008:173:541-54. doi: 10.1016/S0079-6123(08)01137-0.


The glaucomatous disease is currently considered a disease involving ocular and visual brain structures. This new approach to glaucoma introduces the possibility of inducing an improvement by means of a pharmacological approach similar to that used in different degenerative brain disorders. In line with this hypothesis, we studied the effects of oral (1600 mg/die, Cebrolux, Tubilux Pharma, Pomezia, Rome, Italy) or intramuscular (1000 mg/die, Cebroton, Tubilux Pharma) cytidine-5'-diphosphocholine (citicoline) treatment on retinal function and neural conduction in the visual pathways of glaucoma patients with moderate visual defects. Improvement of retinal function (objectively evaluated by pattern electroretinogram recordings) and of neural conduction along visual pathways (objectively evaluated by visual evoked potential recordings) were observed in glaucoma patients after two 60-day periods of oral or intramuscular treatment with citicoline. However, partial regression of this improvement was detected after two 120-day periods of washout. This suggests that the beneficial effects observed are in part treatment-dependent. The extension of citicoline treatment up to a period of 8 years lead to the stabilization or improvement of the glaucomatous visual dysfunction. These results suggest potential neuroprotective effects of citicoline in the glaucomatous disease.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cytidine Diphosphate Choline / pharmacology
  • Cytidine Diphosphate Choline / therapeutic use*
  • Electroretinography
  • Evoked Potentials, Visual / physiology
  • Glaucoma, Open-Angle / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Intraocular Pressure / drug effects
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuroprotective Agents / pharmacology
  • Neuroprotective Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Retina / drug effects
  • Retina / metabolism


  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • Cytidine Diphosphate Choline