Objective: A ginsenoside-rich extract of American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius L.), Cereboost(TM), was previously shown to improve working memory and mood in healthy young individuals. The present study represented a partial replication investigating whether these effects extended to healthy middle-aged individuals.
Methods: Fifty-two healthy volunteers (40-60 years old, mean age 51.63) received 200 mg of P. quinquefolius or a matching placebo according to a double-blind, placebo-controlled, balanced, crossover design. The Cognitive Drug Research battery and the Computerised Mental Performance Assessment System were used to evaluate cognitive performance at baseline then 1, 3 and 6 h following treatment. Blood glucose and mood were co-monitored.
Results: Compared with placebo, P. quinquefolius improved cognitive performance on 'Working Memory' factor at 3 h. Similar effects were observed in one of the two tasks making up this factor, spatial working memory. There were no significant effects on mood or blood glucose levels.
Conclusions: These data confirm that P. quinquefolius can acutely benefit working memory and extend the age range of this effect to middle-aged individuals. These changes are unlikely to be underpinned by modulation of blood glucose in this population.
Keywords: cognitive enhancement; ginseng; working memory.
Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.