Research - Bacopa / Brahmi
Antidepressant-like effects of methanolic extract of Bacopa monniera in mice
Abdul Mannan1*, Ariful Basher Abir1 and Rashidur Rahman2
BackgroundBacopa monniera has been used as a cure for various ailments that include anxiety, epileptic disorders, dementia, blood purifier, cough and rheumatism, and some important local uses of the plant are in dermatitis, anemia, diabetes, promote fertility and prevent miscarriage for many years in Bangladesh. According to this background, the aim of the study was to evaluate the antidepressant-like effect of the methanolic extract of B. monniera (MEBM) in different behavioral models such as forced swimming test (FST), measurement of locomotor activity test (MLAT) and tail suspension test (TST) on mice after two weeks treatment.
MethodsMice were divided into five groups (n = 5/group): control group (deionized water), standard group where Imipramine hydrochloride (30 mg/kg) was used as standard drug and three test groups where three doses of the methanolic extract of B. monniera (MEBM) (50, 100, and 200 mg/kg) was used for two weeks treatment. All the drug and test samples were administered via gavage through oral route. To assess the antidepressant-like effect of MEBM forced swimming test (FST), tail suspension test (TST) and measurement of locomotor activity test (MLAT) have been done in mice.
ResultsThe results showed that a strong and dose-dependent antidepressant effects in different mice models. The main findings of the MEBM significantly reduced the duration of immobility times in the forced swimming test (p < 0.001). Likewise, the extract significantly decreased the immobility time in the tail suspension test (p < 0.001). Moreover, we employed an additional measurement of locomotor activity test to check the motor stimulating activity of the MEBM. The extract also significantly increased the locomotion, rearing and defecation effects in comparison to the control group (p < 0.001).
ConclusionThe present results clearly demonstrate that the methanolic extract of B. monniera possesses antidepressant-like activity in the animal behavioral models. The current study warrants further investigation into identification of the active compounds in herbal medicines, in particular extract ofB. monniera with antidepressant-like effects.
Source : BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine
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Three Herbs for Cognition
Three HerbClips in this issue focus on cognition. HC 011456-496 covers a meta-analysis of bacopa (Bacopa monnieri; Scrophulariaceae).1 Bacopa has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries to improve memory and intellect. Nine clinical trials were included in the meta-analysis, with a total of 231 subjects receiving bacopa and 206 subjects receiving placebo. Memory function (6 studies) and attention (7 studies) were the outcome effects. The authors conclude that bacopa may aid in improving cognitive function, particularly attention speed, but that more study is needed, especially a "head to head" trial with a proven existing medication and standardized bacopa extract. As mentioned in the previous HC News, a green tea (Camellia sinensis; Theaceae) extract was found to enhance working memory between the frontal and parietal brain regions in 12 healthy subjects (See HC 041431-496).2 The authors suggest that green tea extract could be used to treat cognitive impairments, such as dementia, by creating short-term plasticity between the brain regions. This increased connectivity could provide enhanced cognitive function for both healthy individuals as well as those with cognitive impairment. The study used a whey-based soft drink. Additionally studies with a standardized green tea extract are warranted. HC 121314-496 reviews a pilot study on pomegranate (Punica granatum; Lythraceae) supplement POMx™ (POM Wonderful; Los Angeles, California) which demonstrated that the supplement may improve postoperative cognitive dysfunction (POCD) for patients who have had heart surgery.3 Memory retention can be mildly to severely affected after heart surgery, possibly due to anesthesia or lack of oxygen/glucose to the brain. In this small study (5 active; 5 placebo), the researchers found that the pomegranate group was protected against POCD and even improved their memory retention compared to baseline.
Cognition domains include "motor functioning, attention, language, memory, executive control, vision, emotion, sensory functions, and consciousness."1 With an increased aging population, evidence of cognitive decline has also increased. Other impairments among the younger generations, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, have had a notable escalation as well. Finding ways to enhance brain activity, such as word puzzles, studying new subjects, exercising to increase oxygen capacity, and some form of meditation to relax the mind, can maintain and even enhance cognitive function. Bacopa, green tea, and pomegranate, among other herbs, can also support the brain's various processes.
1Kongkeaw C, Dilokthornsakul P, Thanarangsarit P, Limpeanchob N, Scholfield CN. Meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials on cognitive effects of Bacopa monnieri extract. J Ethnopharmacol. 2014;151(1):528-535.
2Schmidt A, Hammann F, Wölnerhanssen B, et al. Green tea extract enhances parieto-frontal connectivity during working memory processing. Psychopharmacology. 2014; [epub ahead of print]. doi: 10.1007/s00213-014-3526-1.
3Ropacki SA, Patel SM, Hartman RE. Pomegranate supplementation protects against memory dysfunction after heart surgery: A pilot study. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013;2013:932401. doi: 10.1155/2013/932401.
Source : HerbClip-ABC
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An Ethanolic Extract of Bacopa Safely Enhances Attention, Working Memory, Cognitive Processing, and Cholinergic Function in Healthy, Elderly Subjects
Peth-Nui T, Wattanathorn J, Muchimapura S, et al.
Effects of 12-week Bacopa monnieri consumption on attention, cognitive processing, working memory, and functions of both cholinergic and monoaminergic systems in healthy elderly volunteers. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:606424. doi: 10.1155/2012/606424.
Bacopa (Bacopa monnieri) has been used as a nerve tonic and to treat neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. The authors hypothesize that bacopa may alter the cholinergic system. This would enhance attention and cognitive processing and ultimately enhance working memory. Attention and cognitive processing can be evaluated by characterizing event-related potentials (ERPs). One component of ERP is called N100. Its amplitude is modulated by selective attention. Another component is called P300. Its amplitude reflects attention and memory operations. The latencies of both components increase with aging, and the amplitudes are decreased with aging. The purpose of this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study was to evaluate the effect of bacopa on attention, cognitive processing, working memory, and cholinergic and monoaminergic function in elderly people.
Healthy subjects (n = 60; mean age = 62.6 years) participated in this study that was conducted at Khon Kaen University; Khon Kaen, Thailand. Included subjects were said to be free of any herbal or prescribed medication that might interfere with nervous system function. The study excluded habitual smokers consuming > 10 cigarettes/day and any subjects who would have difficulty abstaining from smoking during the study. Subjects were instructed to abstain from caffeine and alcohol for ≥ 12 hours prior to the test session. Subjects were given tablets of either placebo, 300 mg/day of bacopa extract, or 600 mg/day of bacopa extract for 12 weeks. The ethanolic extract of bacopa used in this study was said to be a "proprietary extract" prepared by the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Naresuan University in Phitsanulok, and it was said to contain 5% saponins, including unreported amounts of bacoside A3, bacopaside I and II, bacopaside X, and bacopasaponin C. The placebo tablet was said to have the same odor and color as the active tablet. It is unclear how this was accomplished. The battery of cognitive tests included working memory (word presentation, picture presentation, simple reaction time, digit vigilance task, choice reaction time, spatial working memory, and numeric working memory) and ERP assessment. There was an assessment of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and monoamine oxidase (MAO) activity via tests on venous blood after 8-hour fasts. There were no control groups reported for the assays, so findings must be accepted at face value. Subjects were assessed at baseline, 4 weeks, 8 weeks, and 12 weeks, and also 4 weeks after treatment.
There were no significant differences in mean age, education, or body mass index between groups. Table 1 shows the effect of bacopa on parameters of working memory compared with placebo. The 300 mg/day dose had a more robust effect than the 600 mg/day dose.
Table 1: Significant Effects of Bacopa on Working Memory Compared with Placebo (click on full article)
Bacopa had no effect compared with placebo on N100 amplitude and P300 amplitude. N100 latency was significantly decreased compared with placebo at week 12 in both the 300 mg/day group (P < 0.001) and the 600 mg/day group (P < 0.05). P300 latency was significantly decreased compared with placebo at weeks 8 and 12 in the 300 mg/day group (P < 0.05 and P < 0.01, respectively) and at week 12 in the 600 mg/day group (P < 0.05). No significant changes were observed 4 weeks after the cessation of bacopa.
The 300 mg/day group had a significant reduction of AChE activity at week 4 through week 12 compared to placebo (P < 0.01-0.001). The 600 mg/day group only had a significant reduction of AChE activity at week 12 compared to placebo (P < 0.01). The significant changes in both groups persisted 4 weeks after the cessation of bacopa (P < 0.01, compared to placebo). There were no significant changes in MAO activity.
There were no serious adverse effects, no changes in hematological and biochemical values that would indicate toxicity, and no electrocardiogram (ECG) recordings outside normal limits. No subjects dropped out of the study.
The authors conclude that bacopa enhanced attention, cognitive processing, working memory, and cholinergic function. Bacopa may suppress the function of AChE in the brain, leading to increased levels of acetylcholine which can enhance attention and memory. Since mild cognitive impairment and early Alzheimer's disease are due in part to a decline in acetylcholine, bacopa may benefit these patients, but additional research is needed to evaluate bacopa's benefits for patients with these conditions.
Source : American Botanical Council
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