Citicoline: The Potential to Enhance Memory

by Dr. Toshi Kamiya, PhD

As America’s favorite pastime, baseball is a popular sport. It’s amazing how each player can memorize dozens of signals from the manager and signs relayed by coaches on the field. Even so, breakdowns do occur in understanding the different calls.

Can memory be improved? Is it possible to control the nerve activity involved in memory retention? Could better memory enhance team performance and generate a championship season?
The brain consists of a network of nerves filling the cranial cavity of the skull. It functions as the center of the nervous system and the seat of consciousness, intelligence and of willed and reflex actions. The nerves are excited electrically so information is transmitted from one nerve to the other during the period of excitement. This mechanism is also believed to be responsible for the act of memory itself.

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Citicoline, also known as Cytidine 5′- diphosphocholine and CDP-Choline, is involved in the synthesis of phospholipids, which make up the membranes of cells, especially the pathway involving phosphatidylcholine. When taken orally, Citicoline is metabolized to yield the free nucleotide uridine and choline. Peak plasma levels occur several hours after consumption for delivery to various parts of the body. Both elements cross the blood-brain barrier, become incorporated into brain membrane phospholipids and increase the production of neurotransmitters in the central nervous system, including the synthesis of acetylcholine, noradrenaline and dopamine.

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Scientific research demonstrates that Citicoline consumption promotes brain metabolism by restoring phospholipid content in the brain and regulation of neuronal membrane excitability. Citicoline also influences the mitochondria or energy factories of the brain cells. Memorization in the brain occurs in the hippocampus, where acetylcholinergic nerves are widely distributed and where activity is believed to be important for memory function.

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Citicoline is a precursor of phosphatidylcholine, a type of phospholipid that is a component of cell membranes. When the body absorbs Citicoline, it is broken down into uridine and choline. Citicoline reforms in the brain and is used as raw material for phosphatidylcholine synthesis. It is believed that Citicoline stabilizes the membranes of neuronal cells through the metabolic pathway, and inhibits the formation of free fatty acids, substances exhibiting cytotoxicity.

Acetylcholine is vital for communication between neurons, particularly in the brain. A deficit of acetylcholine, a powerful neurotransmitter responsible for storing and recalling memories, has been linked to a number of neurological conditions. One explanation is a decrease in the enzyme that converts choline into acetylcholine in the brain. Citicoline has been shown to raise the amount of acetylcholine.

Citicoline is a revolutionary alternative to phosphatidylcholine according to Kyowa Hakko U.S.A., Inc. based in New York City. Citicoline has been used extensively for the promotion of optimal neural and cognitive function. Newly designed commercial production techniques of Citicoline using fermentation technology have been developed by Kyowa Hakko.

Numerous Citicoline scientific studies have indicated effectiveness in maintaining normal cognitive function with aging. Research indicates Citicoline has a targeted action for increasing brain activity and suggested that Citicoline taken orally may be of use in reversing age-related changes in the brain.

There have been many other Citicoline studies citing positive results for using Citicoline to maintain performance and memory. Further research should be conducted with this compound in patients who are experiencing memory loss or other forms of cognitive decline.

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The human brain is a delicate organ of the body, constantly being attacked by various lifestyle factors including environmental pollution, internal toxicity, stress and a lack of proper diet and nutrients. Citicoline may help combat the ravages of these effects by stimulating the nervous system process to maintain optimum sustainability to retain our ability to think cognitively and retain our memories.

While Citicoline might not help a team win every ball game, there’s potential for a baseball player to better recognize the hit and run signal or bunt sign.