Patients with mild vascular cognitive impairment may benefit from an off-the-shelf dietary supplement, according to a recent study. Researchers in Italy investigated the effects of citicoline on those with memory loss and found that taking 500mg of the supplement orally twice a day for nine months slightly improved cognition. What’s more, citicoline was observed to be safe for use by older adults. The discovery was made when researchers tested the effects of the supplement on 265 people aged 65 and over with mild vascular cognitive impairment. They believe that citicoline works by increasing the availability of certain neurotransmitters, including acetylcholine. This transmitter is used in the memory process and its function is key in improving cognition. However, a spokesperson from the Alzheimer’s Society is unconvinced of the benefits of the supplement: “This supplement is a long way from being a viable treatment for people with vascular cognitive impairment. “The benefits shown in the study are minimal at best and only relate to memory, not touching on other symptoms related to the condition.” In 2002, it was suggested that citicoline had neurological benefits for stroke patients, suggesting further research needs to be done into the supplement’s effect on the brain. Find out about dementia care and support services at Barchester care homes.