Biomedical Tidbits

ALC May Enhance Brain Structure

By Will Block

W hen acetyl-L-carnitine (ALC) was given to 6-, 12- and 22-month-old rats, measurable changes in brain structure were found to occur in the hippocampus region. In control rats, certain characteristics of the synapse, the space between the junction of the neurons in a neural pathways, were found to decline with age. While the surface area of the neuronal endings did not change with age, the density changed.

In ALC-treated rats, the density was found to increase. Also, the number of synapses with very small distances between neurons increased. Collectively, these changes represent positive modulation of the synaptic structural dynamics in ALC-treated animals. ALC increased energy economy and provision at the nerve terminals. This may account for ALC’s ability to enhance certain aspects of memory.


  1. Bertoni-Freddari C, Fattoretti P, Caselli U, Paoloni R. Acetylcarnitine modulation of the morphology of rat hippocampal synapses. Anal Quant Cytol Histol. 1996;18:275–278.

Will Block is the publisher and editorial director of Life Enhancement magazine.

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