Schisandra, Rhodiola and Eleuthrococcus as nootropic agents.
Article Type: Report
Subject: Smart drugs and nutrients (Properties)
Schisandra (Health aspects)
Schisandra (Usage)
Medicine, Botanic (Research)
Medicine, Herbal (Research)
Memory (Physiological aspects)
Author: Finney-Brown, Tessa
Pub Date: 06/22/2010
Publication: Name: Australian Journal of Medical Herbalism Publisher: National Herbalists Association of Australia Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2010 National Herbalists Association of Australia ISSN: 1033-8330
Issue: Date: Summer, 2010 Source Volume: 22 Source Issue: 2
Topic: Event Code: 310 Science & research
Product: Product Code: 2834254 Memory Enhancers NAICS Code: 325412 Pharmaceutical Preparation Manufacturing SIC Code: 2834 Pharmaceutical preparations
Geographic: Geographic Scope: Australia Geographic Code: 8AUST Australia
Accession Number: 232178432
Full Text: Aslanyan G, Amroyan E, Gabrielyan E, Nylander M, Wikman G, Panossian A. 2010. Double blind, placebo controlled, randomised study of single dose effects of ADAPT-232 on cognitive functions. Phytomed 17:7;494-9.

Herbal adaptogens are often used to enhance focus and attention in states of fatigue, and to increase tolerance to mental exhaustion. It is believed that their effects are due to modulation of the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis and that they may be beneficial in acute situations as well as during chronic dosing.

This pilot study consisted of two parallel groups in a double blind placebo controlled randomised design. The aim was to assess the acute effects of a single dose of adaptogens Rhodiola rosea (RR), Schisandra chinensis (SC) and Eleutherococcus senticosus (ES) extract on mental function in tired individuals performing stressful cognitive tasks. The study drugs comprised a fixed combination of dried RR root, SC berry and ES root, which made up 270 mg of the 420 mg active tablet (the rest was comprised of excipients and binders). Forty healthy women were recruited, who were between the age of 20 and 68 years and had suffered long term psychological stress. These participants were required to avoid caffeine and alcohol for one day (minimum) prior to the trial and throughout the following three days.

The mental performance in terms of attention, speed and accuracy was measured using the d2 Test of Attention. Testing was undertaken on day 1 for base line primary and secondary stress related endpoints when the participants were not tired. On day 2 tests were repeated in the morning when the patients were not tired, and in the afternoon when the subjects were supposedly tired. According to these tests the effects of learning and tiredness seemed to neutralise each other. On day three a single dose of the active (or placebo) drug was given and the effects measured 2 hours later by psychometric testing.

Overall the volunteers on the active treatment displayed improved attention and increased speed and accuracy during stressful cognitive tasks in comparison to placebo. There was also a tendency of the herbal treatment to reduce percentage of errors, corresponding to better accuracy, quality of the work and degree of care in the volunteers under stressful conditions. A few minor adverse effects were noted in both groups and included sleepiness and cold extremities. This suggests that administration of such a herbal mixture could be beneficial in situations requiring acute increases in focus and attention such as exams or job interviews.

The authors noted some conflicts of interest as the study was conceived by a director and stock holder of the company producing the herbal medicine and sponsoring the study, and one of the authors was an employee of the sponsor. Another of the authors receives an honorarioum from the sponsor for contract research undertaken on their behalf. The sponsor had no role in the practical aspects of the study.

Tessa Finney-Brown mnhaa
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