Enhancement of recurrent inhibition by intravenous administration of L-acetylcarnitine in spastic patients

R. Mazzocchio, M. Schieppati, C. Scarpini, A. Rossi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The recurrent inhibition of the soleus alpha-motoneurons at rest, evaluated by a specially designed method of paired H reflexes, was estimated in 10 patients with spastic paraparesis. In three of these patients, Renshaw cell activity produced inhibition of the corresponding alphamotor neurons comparable to that obtained in normal subjects, while the inhibition was reduced in five and absent in two. The effects of intravenously administered L-acetylcarnitine on the activity of Renshaw cells were studied in these patients. In all patients except the two with no evidence of recurrent inhibition, L-acetylcarnitine was found to significantly increase the amount of recurrent inhibition. Its effect became evident at about 30 minutes, reached a maximum around 50 minutes and vanished about 70 minutes from the onset of administration. A significant correlation was found between Renshaw cell activity and the ability of the drug to increase it. L-acetylcarnitine appeared to act specifically by enhancing recurrent inhibition, since no variation in the excitability of the monosynaptic reflex arc was observed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-326
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology


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