Table of Contents
Journal of Neurodegenerative Diseases
Volume 2013, Article ID 454253, 7 pages
Clinical Study

The Effect of Lipoic Acid Therapy on Cognitive Functioning in Patients with Alzheimer's Disease

1Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Catanzaro, 88100 Catanzaro, Italy
2Department of Neuroscience, “S. Giovanni di Dio” Hospital, 88900 Crotone, Italy
3Institute of Neurological Science, National Research Council, Roccelletta di Borgia, 88021 Catanzaro, Italy
4Department of Neuroscience, “S. Giovanni Paolo II” Hospital, 88046 Lamezia Terme, Catanzaro, Italy
5Neurophysiology Unit, General Hospital, 87067 Rossano, Cosenza, Italy
6General Medicine Unit, General Hospital, 87055 San Giovanni in Fiore, Cosenza, Italy

Received 24 December 2012; Revised 27 February 2013; Accepted 13 March 2013

Academic Editor: Seishi Terada

Copyright © 2013 Antonietta Fava et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Diabetes mellitus (DM) is an important risk factor for Alzheimer's disease (AD). Most diabetic patients have insulin resistance (IR) that is associated with compensatory hyperinsulinemia, one of the mechanisms suggested for increased AD risk in patients with DM. Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) is a disulfide molecule with antioxidant properties that has positive effects on glucose metabolism and IR. This study evaluated the effect of ALA treatment (600 mg/day) on cognitive performances in AD patients with and without DM. One hundred and twenty-six patients with AD were divided into two groups, according to DM presence (group A) or absence (group B). Cognitive functions were assessed by MMSE, Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale-cognitive (ADAS-Cog), Clinician's Interview-Based Impression of Severity (CIBIC), Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR), and Alzheimer's Disease Functional and Change Scale (ADFACS). IR was assessed by HOMA index. At the end of the study, MMSE scores showed a significant improvement in 43% patients of group A (26 subjects) and 23% of group B (15 subjects), compared to baseline ( ). Also ADAS-Cog, CIBIC, and ADFACS scores showed a significant improvement in group A versus group B. IR was higher in group A. Our study suggests that ALA therapy could be effective in slowing cognitive decline in patients with AD and IR.