Treatment of rats with i.c.v. injected streptozotocin (STREP) may provide a relevant model of neurodegeneration that is induced by a decrease in the central metabolism of glucose. Acetyl-l-carnitine (ALCAR) enhances the utilization of alternative energy sources and by such a mechanism of action ALCAR could antagonize the effects of STREP treatment. In this study the effects of chronic treatment with ALCAR were evaluated on spatial discrimination learning in the Morris task and choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) activity of middle-aged STREP-treated rats. Chronic treatment with ALCAR attenuated both the STREP-induced impairment in spatial bias and the decrease in hippocampal ChAT activity. These findings indicate that ALCAR treatment has a neuroprotective effect, although further studies are needed to characterize the mechanism of action of ALCAR in this model.