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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 606424, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/606424
Research Article

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

1Neuroscience Program, Department of Physiology and Graduate School, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen 40002, Thailand
2Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen 40002, Thailand
3Integrative Complimentary Alternative Medicine Research and Development Group, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen 40002, Thailand
4Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen 40002, Thailand
5Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Naresuan University, Phitsanulok 65000, Thailand

Received 14 June 2012; Revised 20 September 2012; Accepted 25 November 2012

Academic Editor: Alfredo Vannacci

Copyright © 2012 Tatimah Peth-Nui et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

At present, the scientific evidence concerning the effect of Bacopa monnieri on brain activity together with working memory is less available. Therefore, we aimed to determine the effect of B. monnieri on attention, cognitive processing, working memory, and cholinergic and monoaminergic functions in healthy elderly. A randomized double-blind placebo-controlled design was utilized. Sixty healthy elderly subjects (mean age 62.62 years; SD 6.46), consisting of 23 males and 37 females, received either a standardized extract of B. monnieri (300 and 600 mg) or placebo once daily for 12 weeks. The cholinergic and monoaminergic systems functions were determined using AChE and MAO activities. Working memory was assessed using percent accuracy and reaction time of various memory tests as indices, whereas attention and cognitive processing were assessed using latencies and amplitude of N100 and P300 components of event-related potential. All assessments were performed before treatment, every four weeks throughout study period, and at four weeks after the cessation of intervention. B. monnieri-treated group showed improved working memory together with a decrease in both N100 and P300 latencies. The suppression of plasma AChE activity was also observed. These results suggest that B. monnieri can improve attention, cognitive processing, and working memory partly via the suppression of AChE activity.