Choline chloride in the treatment of cerebellar and spinocerebellar ataxia

J Neurol Sci. 1981 May;50(2):161-74. doi: 10.1016/0022-510x(81)90162-3.


The use of orally administered choline chloride in the treatment of cerebellar and spinocerebellar ataxia was investigated by a short-term double-blind crossover trial in 20 patients with ataxia. These patients, who include 7 with Friedreich's ataxia, 7 with mixed spinocerebellar ataxia and 6 will primary cerebellar degeneration received placebo and 6g/day or 12g/day of choline with crossover at 6 weeks. Serum choline levels were measured 1 h after the first daily dose. Mild but significant improvement in upper limb co-ordination was noted in 3 patients with Friedreich's ataxia, 3 with mixed ataxia and 4 patients with primary cerebellar degeneration. Improvement in gait and lower limb co-ordination was observed in only 2 patients (one with cerebellar ataxia and 1 with mixed ataxia) There was no correlation between serum choline levels and clinical response to choline. Choline chloride produces a mild but functionally significant improvement in motor co-ordination in some patients with cerebellar and spinocerebellar ataxia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cerebellar Ataxia / drug therapy*
  • Choline / blood
  • Choline / therapeutic use*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Friedreich Ataxia / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nerve Degeneration / drug effects
  • Spinal Cord Diseases / drug therapy*


  • Choline