Oxidative stress and neuronal energy depletion are characteristic hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease. It has been hypothesized that, because of this, pro-energetic and antioxidant drugs such as alpha-lipoic acid might delay the onset or slow down the progression of the disease.
In one study, alpha-lipoic acid was given daily to nine patients with Alzheimer's disease. The treatment led to a stabilization of cognitive functions in the study group.
According the study:
"... [T]he progression [of Alzheimer's for patients taking alpha-lipoic acid] appears dramatically lower than data reported for untreated patients or patients on choline-esterase inhibitors in the second year of long-term studies ... [O]ur data suggest that treatment with alpha-lipoic acid might be a successful 'neuroprotective' therapy option."
Separate research also revealed that alpha lipoic acid, in combination with vitamin E and acetyl-l-carnitine, led to improvements in potential biomarkers for Alzheimer's disease and showed promise for slowing the progression of the disease.