Citicoline in vascular cognitive impairment and vascular dementia after stroke.
Cytidine Diphosphate Choline
Cognitive decline after stroke is more common than stroke recurrence. Stroke doubles the risk of dementia and is a major contributor to vascular cognitive impairment and vascular dementia. Neuropathological studies in most cases of dementia in the elderly reveal a large load of vascular ischemic brain lesions mixed with a lesser contribution of neurodegenerative lesions of Alzheimer disease. Nonetheless, few pharmacological studies have addressed vascular cognitive impairment and vascular dementia after stroke. Citicoline has demonstrated neuroprotective effects in acute stroke and has been shown to improve cognition in patients with chronic cerebrovascular disease and in some patients with Alzheimer disease. A recent trial lasting 6 months in patients with first-ever ischemic stroke showed that citicoline prevented cognitive decline after stroke with significant improvement of temporal orientation, attention, and executive function. Experimentally, citicoline exhibits neuroprotective effects and enhances neural repair. Citicoline appears to be a safe and promising alternative to improve stroke recovery and could be indicated in patients with vascular cognitive impairment, vascular dementia, and Alzheimer disease with significant cerebrovascular disease.