This randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled trial planned to evaluate the effects of bacopa supplementation on cognitive function in healthy, elderly, study participants. Participants were randomized to receive a placebo or bacopa (300 mg/day) for 12 weeks, with a placebo run-in of 6 weeks. Each participant was assessed by the following measures: Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (AVLT), Stroop Task assessing the ability to ignore irrelevant information, the Divided Attention Task (DAT), and the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) letter-digit test of immediate working memory. Affective measures were the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression scale (CESD)-10 depression scale, and the Profile of Mood States. Vital signs were also monitored.
The results showed that bacopa supplementation enhanced AVLT delayed word recall memory scores, compared to the placebo group. Stroop results were similarly significant, with the Bacopa group improving and the placebo group unchanged. CESD-10 depression scores, combined state plus trait anxiety scores, and heart rate decreased over time for the Bacopa group but increased for the placebo group. These results suggest that bacopa enhances cognitive performance and memory in aging population.
Calabrese, C., Gregory, W. L., Leo, M., Kraemer, D., Bone, K., & Oken, B. (2008). Effects of a standardized Bacopa monnieri extract on cognitive performance, anxiety, and depression in the elderly: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Journal of alternative and complementary medicine (New York, N.Y.), 14(6), 707–713. https://doi.org/10.1089/acm.2008.0018