Creatine and Cognitive Function


Does creatine improve cognition?

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Creatine supplementation has been studied for its potential to improve cognitive function, with varying results across different populations and conditions:

  1. General Cognitive Enhancement: Creatine supplementation shows potential in improving cognitive processing, particularly in conditions characterized by brain creatine deficits. This has been observed across various studies and in different demographic groups. For example, studies have found improvements in cognitive function in young women and in older adults under resting conditions or stress, including sleep deprivation. These enhancements are noted in aspects like central executive tasks, short-term memory, and attentional capacity (Roschel et al., 2021); (Skelton & Dellis-Leeper, 2012); (Turner et al., 2015).

  2. Inconsistent Results: However, some studies have reported no significant improvement in cognitive processing in certain groups, such as non-sleep-deprived young adults and healthy older individuals. This indicates that the effects of creatine on cognition might be context-specific or vary according to individual differences (Rawson et al., 2008); (Alves et al., 2013).

  3. Neurodevelopmental and Neurological Conditions: There's also evidence suggesting that creatine supplementation could have beneficial effects on cognitive abilities in specific conditions, such as during prenatal development and in diseases like Huntington's and Parkinson's. This suggests a potential therapeutic value of creatine in disorders linked to dysfunctional energy metabolism (Sartini et al., 2019); (Allen, 2012).

  4. Pediatric and Youth Populations: In contrast, studies in healthy youth have shown that creatine supplementation may not significantly impact cognitive performance, suggesting age-related variability in response to creatine (Merege-Filho et al., 2017).

In conclusion, while creatine supplementation shows promise in enhancing cognitive function, particularly under conditions of creatine deficiency or increased cognitive demand, the effects can vary depending on the population, age, and specific cognitive domains being assessed.