Monday, August 24, 2009

Acetyl-L-Carnitine May Increase Nerve Regeneration


Reference: "Acetyl-l-carnitine increases nerve regeneration and target organ reinnervation - A morphological study," Wilson AD, Hart A, et al, J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg, 2009 Aug 5; [Epub ahead of print]. (Address: Andrew D.H. Wilson, Blond McIndoe Research Laboratories, Tissue Injury and Repair Group, University of Manchester, Room 3.106 Stopford Building, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PT, UK E-mail: ).

Summary: In a placebo-controlled study involving rats subject to surgical sciatic nerve division followed by immediate repair, parenteral administration of acetyl-l-carnitine (ALCAR - 50 mg/kg/day) from the time of operation until termination at 12 weeks was found to increase nerve regeneration and target organ reinnervation. In the subjects treated with ALCAR, the mean number of myelinated axons was significantly greater than the placebo and control (normal nerve) groups, and the mean myelin thickness was greater than that found in a placebo group. In addition, treatment with ALCAR was found to increase dermal PGP9.5 staining by 210%, as compared to sham treatment, and significantly reduce mean percentage weight loss in the gastrocnemius muscle (0.203% vs. 0.312% in the sham group). In light of the fact that, "Peripheral nerve injury frequently results in functional morbidity since standard management fails to adequately address many of the neurobiological hurdles to optimal regeneration," these results are significant and warrant further investigation into the use of ALCAR for nerve regeneration.

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