Effect of acetyl-L-carnitine on geriatric patients suffering from dysthymic disorders.


Bella R, Biondi R , Raffaele R , Pennisi G




Int J Clin Pharmacol Res


Sixty senile subjects (60-80 years old) with dysthymic disturbances as defined by DSM III (Cat. 390.40) were randomized into two homogeneous groups, one of which was given acetyl-L-carnitine (3 g/day per os) while the other received a placebo. After a washout phase of one week, each patient was evaluated by scoring on the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression and the Beck Depression Inventory, as well as the Sandoz Clinical Assessment-Geriatric. These tests were administered at the beginning of the trial, prior to drug administration, and repeated during the treatment phase after 30 and 60 days. The results showed that treatment with acetyl-L-carnitine induced a significant reduction, as compared to the placebo (p less than 0.002), in the severity of depressive symptoms and also a significant improvement (p less than 0.0027) in the items measuring the quality of life.