Effect of Korean Red Ginseng on Cognitive Function and Quantitative EEG in Patients with Alzheimer's Disease: A Preliminary Study

J Altern Complement Med. 2016 Apr;22(4):280-5. doi: 10.1089/acm.2015.0265. Epub 2016 Mar 14.


Background: Korean red ginseng (KRG) has a nootropic effect. This study assessed the efficacy of KRG on cognitive function and quantitative electroencephalography (EEG) in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD).

Methods: Fourteen patients with AD (mean age, 74.93 years; 11 women and 3 men) were recruited and treated with KRG (4.5 g per day) for 12 weeks. Cognitive function was assessed by the Korean Mini-Mental State Examination (K-MMSE) and the Frontal Assessment Battery (FAB). EEG performed before and after treatment were analyzed with quantitative spectral analysis.

Results: The FAB score improved significantly after 12 weeks of treatment. In the relative power spectrum analysis performed according to responsiveness, alpha power increased significantly in the right temporal area of the responders. The increments of relative alpha power in the right temporal, parietal, and occipital areas were significantly higher in the responders than the nonresponders.

Conclusions: This study indicates the efficacy of KRG on frontal lobe function in AD, related to increasing relative alpha power.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alzheimer Disease / drug therapy*
  • Cognition / drug effects*
  • Electroencephalography / drug effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Nootropic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Nootropic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Panax / chemistry*
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use


  • Nootropic Agents
  • Plant Extracts