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August 1983

Lethicin in the Treatment of Alzheimer's Disease

Author Affiliations

Charles A. Dana Research Institute Beth Israel Hospital 330 Brookline Ave Boston, MA 02215
Susan LoCastro
Department of Psychiatry Massachusetts General Hospital Boston, MA 02114

Arch Neurol. 1983;40(8):527-528. doi:10.1001/archneur.1983.04210070067022

To the Editor.  —Alzheimer's disease has been associated with a defect in cortical cholinergic pathways,1-4 and several reports have appeared within the past five years concerning the use of lecithin, a cholinergic agonist, in treating the associated symptoms.5-10 With the exception of a recent report by Dysken et al,11 most studies have been of a preliminary nature, lacking adequate controls for the duration of the illness, age of the subjects, placebo effects, dose-dependent effects, and plasma choline levels. Mild improvements in learning and retention have been observed, but in none of the studies reported to date, to our knowledge, has lecithin been shown to alter substantially behavior or the course of the disease. We report the results of a six-month study in which lecithin (Phospholipon-100) (95% phosphatidylcholine) and a placebo were administered in a double-blind crossover protocol to 13 patients with Alzheimer's disease.

Patients and Methods.  —Seven

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