Neurological Degenerative Diseases

Over the past few years, a considerable body of scientific evidence has given support to the idea that creatine supplementation may alleviate some of the clinical symptoms of neurological disease and delay disease progression (Wyss & Schulze 2002). Studies conducted in both animal models of neurodegenerative disease and humans have produced mixed results.

Huntington's disease A number of studies conducted with experimental animal models of Huntington's disease have identified a possible role for creatine supplementation (Andreassen et al 2001, Dedeoglu et al 2003, Ferrante et al 2000). Creatine was shown to increase survival, delay onset of symptoms and exert neuroprotective effects in vivo.

Motor neuron disease A preliminary study demonstrated that creatine supplementation of 20 g daily for 7 days followed by 3 g daily for 3 and 6 months produced temporary increases in maximal isometric power in patients with MND (Mazzini et al 2001). More recently, two randomised, double blind, placebo-controlled studies have been conducted with MND patients, with both finding no change to disease progression with creatine monohydrate supplementation at doses of 5-10 g daily (Groeneveld et al 2003, Shefner et al 2004). Study periods varied from 6 to 12 months. The study by Shefner et al used creatine monohydrate at a loading dose of 20 g/day for 5 days, followed by 5 g/day. It must be noted that this study was powered only to detect a 50% or greater change, so the failure to show a significant positive effect of treatment might have limited clinical significance.

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