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Effect of Bacopa monnieri on Cognitive functions in Alzheimer’s disease patients

Author(s): Shishir Goswami | Anand Saoji | Navneet Kumar | Vijay Thawani | Meenal Tiwari | Manasi Thawani

Journal: International Journal of Collaborative Research on Internal Medicine & Public Health
ISSN 1840-4529

Volume: 3;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 179;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: Brahmi | memory improvement | MMSES score | dementia | Bacognize

Background: Alzheimer’s disease is a degenerative condition mostly affecting the elderly. It significantlyaffects the patient’s quality of life. So far there is no proven effective therapeutic intervention for suchpatients. Bacopa monnieri is an indigenous plant which is found throughout India. It has been referred inAyurveda since centuries as a “Medhya Rasayan” (nootropic). Studies have shown various effects ofBacopa monnieri among which is its inhibitory effect on the enzyme cholinesterase. This can result indecrease in the breakdown of acetylcholine, an important neurotransmitter whose decreased levels areseen in Alzheimer’s disease.Aims & Objectives: We conducted this study to evaluate the effect of Bacopa monnieri on cognitivefunctions in Alzheimer’s disease patients.Study Design: This was an open label, prospective, uncontrolled, non-randomized trial. Study populationincluded all newly diagnosed patients of Alzheimer’s disease in the Psychiatry Outdoor PatientDepartment between 60-65 years of age. Baseline scores on Mini Mental State Examination Scale(MMSES) were recorded for all patients. Subsequently all patients took 300 mg of Bacopa monnieristandardized extract (Bacognize®) orally twice a day for 6 months. MMSES scores were recorded againafter the completion of study drug.Results: Mean age of 39 patients who completed the study was 65.23 years. Study patients showedstatistically significant improvements in various components of MMSES including orientation of time,place & person, attention and in their language component in terms of reading, writing & comprehensionat the end of trial. The patients involved in this trial also reported improvement in their quality of life, anddecrease in the irritability and insomnia.Conclusion: The results of our clinical trial show that Bacopa monnieri standardized extract (Bacognize®300 mg twice a day orally) for 6 months results in improvement in some aspects of cognitive functions ingeriatric patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. While the above results are encouraging given theimprovement in cognitive functions in geriatric Alzheimer’s disease patients, further studies that include acontrol group are required to validate these results.
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