The Eyes Are The Windows To The Brain — Citicoline May Promote Optimal Visual Function

By Dr. Toshi Kamiya, PhD

Studies show Citicoline is beneficial in maintaining optimal visual function. Certain individuals, as they age, undergo a process in which retinal ganglion cells of the eye slowly die. Clinical trials have also found Citicoline is a well-tolerated ingredient used in the pharmacotherapy of optimal neural and cognitive function.

A double-blind, placebo controlled study published in the Journal of Neuroscience Research found Citicoline treatment resulted in functional improvement in patient vision. Citicoline is a natural precursor of cellular synthesis of phospholipids, mainly phosphatidylcholine. Enhancement of phospholipid synthesis may counteract neuron inefficiency and provide neuroprotection. Citicoline when administered undergoes a quick transformation to cytidine and choline, which crosses the blood brain barrier and enters brain cells separately to provide neuroprotection by enhancing phospholipid synthesis. A similar effect is expected to occur in glaucomatous retinal ganglion cells.

Furthermore, Citicoline stimulates some brain neurotransmitter systems, including the system than contains dopamine. Dopamine is known as a major neurotransmitter in retina and post retinal visual pathways. In 1998, at the University of Rome, a research group led by Dr. Vincenzo Parisi, MD, evaluated the effects of Citicoline on patients with glaucoma.

This 12-month study sought to confirm previous findings by using more sophisticated methods for evaluating visual functions. Forty patients at simple, primary and chronic stages of glaucoma took part in the study. The group using 1000 mg of Citicoline daily showed marked improvements in visual function during the treatment periods. Furthermore, no adverse side effects were reported with Citicoline. Researchers concluded their results indicated a potential use for Citicoline in medical treatment of glaucoma as a complement to hypotensive therapy.

Additional vision research using Citicoline was conducted at the University of Bologna, Italy with adults who had amblyopia. Amblyopia is a dimness of sight without an apparent change in the eye structure. It has been known to be associated with toxic effects or dietary deficiencies in the body. The study aimed to establish whether visual acuity, contrast sensitivity and visually evoked potentials changed after Citicoline. All study subjects taking Citicoline showed improved vision in both eyes to different extents in all test categories.

Citicoline is a revolutionary alternative to phosphatidylcholine and has been used extensively for the promotion of optimal neural and cognitive function. Kyowa Hakko has developed new commercial production techniques of Citicoline using fermentation technology. Numerous Citicoline scientific studies have indicated effectiveness combating the effects of certain neurodegenerative conditions. Research indicates Citicoline has a targeted action for increasing brain phospholipid synthesis. Citicoline is absorbed as a form of its hydrolyzed products, uridine and choline within the brain; neuron cells convert uridine into cytidine, which reacts with choline to produce Citicoline. Citicoline then moves into the metabolic pathway of phosphatidylcholine production in the brain.

Citicoline, when taken orally, crosses the blood-brain barrier and is incorporated into brain membrane lipids. Citicoline has been the subject of studies worldwide over the past two decades. In addition to neurological conditions, studies have also focused on cognitive function benefits.