Cognitive-Enhancing Citicoline Found to Improve Motor Speed and Attention in Adolescents

Recently unveiled at the annual American Society of Clinical Psychopharmacology conference in Hollywood, FL, a new randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled human clinical trial conducted by The Brain Institute, at the University of Utah, found that adolescent males experienced increased motor speed and attention after supplementation of citicoline. The trial involved 75 adolescent males over a 28-day period in which the citicoline, a known cognitive-enhancing nutrient, was administered. The research reported that the individuals who were administered citicoline showed multiple improved cognitive domains, which includes measures of attention and motor speed.

Although citicoline has been the subject of previous trials, the nutrient has undergone limited research dedicated to healthy adolescent populations1,2,3. Lead researcher, Dr. Deborah Yurgelun-Todd, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Utah, said, “the study finally sheds a light on the cognitive-enhancing effects of citicoline in healthy, adolescent individuals,” she continued, “which is something we at The Brain Institute have never done before.” (Typically, research around citicoline involves adults with neurological deficits.) Furthermore, the research found that self-reported side effects of administration were not greater as compared to participants in the placebo-controlled group.

Participants included 75 healthy adolescent males divided into treatment (n=51) and placebo groups (n=24) after completing a screening visit including a medical exam and clinical measures.

Individuals were then randomly assigned to a 250 mg or 500 mg Cognizin® citicoline treatment group or placebo group. To test the group, researchers conducted the “Finger Tap Test”, a motor function assessment during which participants are required to press a lever attached to a mechanical counter as many times as possible during discrete time periods. Additionally, the “Ruff 2 & 7 Selective Attention Test” was also administered, which tests a timed cancellation task in which participants cross out 2’s and 7’s embedded in blocks of distractor numbers or letters. Those who were given the citicoline scored higher in both tests after the 28-day period.

“The work that Dr. Yurgelun-Todd and The Brain Institute has done with citicoline and adolescent males is outstanding,” said Danielle Citrolo, PharmD, Kyowa Hakko USA. “We’re continuing to learn amazing things about the positive effects that Cognizin citicoline has on the human brain.”

About the Study: 

  • Participants included 75 healthy adolescent males divided into treatment (n=51) and placebo groups (n=24).
  • Participants completed a screening visit including a medical exam and clinical measures.
  • Individuals were then randomly assigned to a 250 mg or 500 mg Cognizin® citicoline treatment group or placebo group.
  • Between group differences, after 28 days of citicoline supplementation, individuals in the treatment group exhibited increased motor speed compared to individuals in the placebo group (p = 0.03; treatment group FTDH* Baseline mean = 479.96, SD = 69.39; treatment group FTDH Day 28 mean = 518.05, SD = 49.86; placebo group FTDH Baseline mean = 504.90, SD = 81.08; placebo group FTDH Day 28 mean = 513.43, SD = 64.03).
  • Individuals in the treatment group exhibited improved attention compared to the placebo group (Ruff 2 & 7 Speed p = 0.02; treatment group Ruff Speed Baseline mean = 86.98, SD = 22.62; treatment group Ruff Speed Day 28 mean =104.90, SD = 21.31; placebo group Ruff Speed Baseline mean = 84.04, SD = 16.93; placebo group Ruff Speed Day 28 mean = 96.79, SD = 19.56).

Cognizin® citicoline can be found in a variety of dietary supplement and beverage formulations. For more information visit

A copy of the poster is available upon request.

*Refers to Finger Tap Total Dominant Hand test.  

About Cognizin® Citicoline

Cognizin is a branded form of citicoline, a natural substance found in every cell of the body and especially vital to brain health. citicoline is broken down during intestinal absorption and, after passing through the blood/brain barrier, is reconstituted in the brain as citicoline. Citicoline is a water-soluble compound that supplies precursors for the synthesis of phospholipids, including phosphatidyl-choline, a major constituent of brain tissue; helps maintain normal levels of acetylcholine, a chemical that regulates memory and cognitive function; enhances communication between neurons; supports visual function; protects neural structures from free radical damage; enhances metabolism and healthy brain activity; and helps sustain healthy cellular mitochondria for sustained energy. Cognizin is also highly stable, GRAS, ultra-pure and allergen-free. For more information on Cognizin, visit


About Kyowa Hakko USA:

Kyowa Hakko USA is the North American sales office for Kyowa Hakko Bio Co. Ltd. (Kyowa), an international health ingredients manufacturer and world leader in the development, manufacturing and marketing of pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals and food products. Kyowa is the maker of branded ingredients including Cognizin® Citicoline, Pantesin® Pantethine, Setria® Glutathione, as well as Sustamine® L-Alanyl-L-Glutamine. For more information, visit



1 J. J. Secades, “Citicoline: Pharmacological and Clinical Review, 2010 Update,” Revista de Neurologia, Vol. 52, Suppl. 2, 2011, pp. S1-S62.

2 R. Ozay, et al., “Citicoline Improves Functional Recovery, Promotes Nerve Regeneration, and Reduces Postoperative Scarring after Peripheral Nerve Surgery in Rats,” Surgical Neurology, Vol. 68, No. 6, 2007, pp. 615-622. doi:10.1016/j.surneu.2006.12.054

3 V. Parisi, et al., “Evidence of the Neuroprotective Role of Citicoline in Glaucoma Patients,” Progress in Brain Research, Vol. 173, 2008, pp. 541-554. doi: 10.1016/S0079-6123(08)01137-0

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