Possibilities of antioxidant therapy for asthenia and cognitive deficit in elderly patients with chronic brain ischemia

Research Institute of Therapy, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, Novosibirsk.

Aim. To evaluate the effect of the antioxidant mexidol on the oxidant-antioxidant potential of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), asthenic and anxious symptoms, and cognitive function of neurodynamic type in elderly patients with chronic brain ischemia (CBI). Subjects and methods. Thirty women (mean age 66.7 years) with grade 1-2 dyscirculatory encephalopathy (DE) were examined. Trends for asthenic, anxious, and cognitive symptoms of neurodynamic type were estimated using the standard tests (MFI-20, Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale, Schulte Tables, Wechsler test) on days 1, 15, and 60 of mexidol treatment (for 60 days). LDLs were isolated from blood by heparin precipitation. The baseline level of lipid peroxidation products was determined and the concentrations of fat-soluble antioxidants (α-tocopherol, retinol, β-carotene, and xanthins) were examined in the isolated LDLs on days 1 and 5 of the study. Results. A 60-day mexidol therapy cycle statistically significantly caused a reduction in asthenic and anxious symptoms in elderly patients with CBI and induced positive changes in the symptoms of cognitive neurodynamics. Assessing the specific features of the pharmacodynamics of the antioxidant mexidol used in the elderly patients for 15 days revealed a statistically significant positive effect on the oxidative potential of LDLs as a decreased predisposition to their antioxidative processes in vivo. The drug’s effect in elevating the levels of α-tocopherol and β-carotene was altered insignificantly (without statistically significant changes), which reflects the pharmacodynamic features of the drug in the elderly patients. Conclusion. The 60-day cycle of therapy with the antioxidant mexidol has a positive impact on asthenic and neurotic symptoms in the elderly patients with CBI. Mexidol is well tolerated and safe when used long.

Keywords: asthenia, anxiety, cognitive defect, chronic brain ischemia, elderly age, specific features of antioxidant therapy, mexidol.