The Effect of Carnitine on Peripheral Nerve Regeneration

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Abstract

Introduction:

Proximal and distal axons of the nerve body are subject to varying degrees of traumatic degeneration after an incision. The histologic structure of rat peripheral nerves cannot be distinguished from the human. Studies on systemic carnitine treatment following peripheral nerve injury and its positive results are available in the literature. There are no reported results of local administration.

Methods:

The authors used 50 rats. A total of 5 groups were created by randomly assigning the rats. In the first study group, the nerve was repaired following the incision. NaCl was locally administered to the repair region. In the second study group, the nerve was repaired following the incision. Carnitine was administered systemically. In the third study group, the nerve was repaired following the incision. The rats were administered Carnitine locally and additionally Carnitine was administered systemically. In the fourth study group, the nerve was repaired following the incision. Carnitine was administered locally. The fifth control group did not undergo any procedure.

Results:

Although Sciatic function index of the groups that received carnitine was better than the group that received NaCl, no statistically significant difference was present. Nerve action potential amplitude values were calculated from the electrophysiological recordings obtained. All groups were compared among themselves, a statistically significant difference was found. A significant difference was found between first, second, third, fourth, control groups. The total nerve area and number of axons per mm2 was lower in the control group than all other groups.

Conclusion:

Local administration of carnitine was found to be as effective as systemic administration. The authors therefore conclude that carnitine can be used locally, systemically or systemically + locally to increase regeneration following peripheral nerve damage.

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