Centrophenoxine is a cognitive enhancement supplement that is believed to play a role in boosting memory and mental performance.
Centrophenoxine is a modified version of dimethylaminoethanol, or DMAE, (an organic compound believed to stimulate the nervous system, prevent or slow mental deterioration and memory loss). It is designed to have better absorption and increased transportation to the brain. It is commonly sold under the brand name Lucidril and is found in some nootropics.
Researchers are also interested in learning more about its role in possibly treating anxiety, cancer and Parkinson’s disease.
Centrophenoxine may improve memory in dementia patients. A study published in the Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics reported on the ability of centrophenoxine to treat dementia. A double-blind clinical trial was performed on 50 men and women with middle-stage dementia. The results noted an increase in performance in psychometric tests as well as an increase in intracellular water content (of which dehydration is consistent with aging) (1).
In another study evaluating the effects of centrophenoxine on the learning and memory of old mice, it was found that the animals treated with the supplement were able to learn tasks quicker than the untreated mice. They also exhibited a reduction of neuronal lipofuscin pigment in both the cerebral cortex (the area in the brain responsible for higher thought processes including speech and decision making) and the hippocampus (the center of emotion and memory) (2).
Neuronal lipofuscin pigments are fatty pigments that accumulate over time in nerve cells and are one the most prominent markers of cellular aging. The accumulation has been linked to dementia.
In an older study, it was found that centrophenoxine could improve brain stimulation and the formation of new long-term memories. What’s more, many of the subjects receiving centrophenoxine reported an increased level of mental alertness (3).
Centrophenoxine may help ease anxiety. In a study performed on anxiety-induced rats, researchers observed a significant reduction in anxiety symptoms in the rats given doses of either adafenoxate (a compound related to centrophenoxine) or centrophenoxine. The anti-anxiety effects of these two supplements are further being studied (4).
Centrophenoxine may help fight cancer. Early studies show the potential of centrophenoxine to help boost the effects of certain types of cancer drugs. It is believed that when it is used in combination with other cancer therapies, it makes drugs that are meant to damage and destroy cancer cells that much more effective.
Researchers are studying the effects of centrophenoxine on treating Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that affects movement. Some of the biochemical features of Parkinson’s include a substantial deficit in dopamine content (loss of dopamine in the brain leads to issues with movement) and reduced glutathione (an antioxidant responsible for clearing toxins from cells, healing cellular damage, reducing free radicals and so much more).
In a 2009 study, researchers carried out a study to evaluate the antioxidant potential of centrophenoxine in rats infused with rotenone to reproduce many of the features of Parkinson’s.
At the end of the study, centrophenoxine had a significant effect in halting the depletion of dopamine and glutathione. In addition, the drug prevented the increase in nitric oxide. Elevations of nitric oxide are associated with this disease.
What’s more, microscopic analysis found that severe damage to the midbrain of the rats was diminished by centrophenoxine co-treatment (5).
Scientists are pursuing further studies in the hopes of getting closer to finding a treatment for the disease.
Centrophenoxine has been shown to increase the lifespan of mice. According to a 2002 study performed on mice, researchers were intrigued to discover that mice treated with centrophenoxine had an increased lifespan by 30 to 50 percent (6). Researchers are not sure why but are interesting in digging deeper.
Centrophenoxine may help symptoms of tardive dyskinesia. Tardive dyskinesia is a neurological disorder that is caused by the long-term use of some anti-psychotic medications. Symptoms range from mild to severe and may include uncontrollable movements of the mouth, rapid movements of the body, rapid blinking and disfigured facial features such as drooping of the mouth and eyes.
In a study published in Biological Psychiatry, participants were given a daily oral dose of 600–1200 mg of centrophenoxine, for 6 to 12 weeks. At the end of the study, the degree of involuntary movement was evaluated. Among 11 subjects with tardive dyskinesia, four improved markedly, one moderately, two slightly, and there was no improvement in four.
One patient with subacute mouth movements, induced by administration of neuroleptics for one month, improved markedly (7).
Current information available deems it to be generally safe and nontoxic.
Information about the safety of centrophenoxine supplementation is limited, however, and it can raise acetylcholine levels. An excess of acetylcholine could cause mild side effects like nausea, headache, stomach issues and drowsiness.
People with major depression, bipolar disorder, seizure disorders, or Parkinson’s disease should avoid this drug, as too much acetylcholine can worsen these conditions.
Also, pregnant and nursing women should avoid using it. Because of its DMAE content, it has the potential to cause birth defects.
There have been several different dosing recommendations for centrophenoxine.
A typical dose is 250 mg. A cumulative daily dosage ranging from 500-1000 mg is generally considered both safe and effective for most healthy adults interested in its cognitive benefits. It is best taken in two divided doses at breakfast and lunch.
It is advisable to consult a medical professional before exceeding the recommended daily dosage.
Centrophenoxine is a cognitive enhancing supplement that plays a role in improving memory and mental performance. Limited studies also show its potential in helping to treat anxiety, cancer, Parkinson’s disease and involuntary body movements related to the neurological disorder, tardive dyskinesia.
Though centrophenoxine has been studied for decades — dating back to the late 70s and 80s, its precise mechanisms of action are still not entirely clear.
Many experts are interested in performing new studies to better understand its function, efficacy and safety for human use.
Another area of study researchers are interested in delving into deeper is whether or not it can benefit younger individuals by playing a role in preventing memory loss and improving cognitive abilities.