A double-blind, placebo controlled trial of high-dose lecithin in Alzheimer's disease

J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 1985 Aug;48(8):736-42. doi: 10.1136/jnnp.48.8.736.


The first long-term double-blind placebo controlled trial of high dose lecithin in senile dementia of the Alzheimer type is reported. Fifty one subjects were given 20-25 g/day of purified soya lecithin (containing 90% phosphatidyl plus lysophosphatidyl choline) for six months and followed up for at least a further six months. Plasma choline levels were monitored throughout the treatment period. There were no differences between the placebo group and the lecithin group but there was an improvement in a subgroup of relatively poor compliers. These were older and had intermediate levels of plasma choline. It is suggested that the effects of lecithin are complex but that there may be a "therapeutic window" for the effects of lecithin in the condition and that this may be more evident in older patients.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Alzheimer Disease / blood
  • Alzheimer Disease / drug therapy*
  • Alzheimer Disease / psychology
  • Choline / blood
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Patient Compliance
  • Phosphatidylcholines / therapeutic use*


  • Phosphatidylcholines
  • Choline