Efficacy and Safety of Crocus sativus L. in Patients with Mild Cognitive Impairment: One Year Single-Blind Randomized, with Parallel Groups, Clinical Trial

J Alzheimers Dis. 2016 Jul 27;54(1):129-33. doi: 10.3233/JAD-160304.


There is evidence to suggest the efficacy of Crocus (saffron) in the management of cognitive decline. This study examined the efficacy of Crocus in patients with amnesic and multi domain MCI (aMCImd). The participants included 17 patients on Crocus and 18 on a waiting list, who were examined with a short neuropsychological battery, MRI 3T, while some patients were examined via 256-channel electroencephalogram (HD-EEG) at baseline and after 12 months. The results showed that patients on Crocus had improved Mini-Mental State Examination scores (p = 0.015), while the control group deteriorated. Also, MRI, EEG, and ERP showed improvement in specific domains. This led us to conclude that Crocus is a good choice for management of aMCImd.

Keywords: Crocus sativus; electroencephalography; magnetic resonance imaging; mild cognitive impairment; saffron.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain / drug effects*
  • Brain / physiopathology
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / diagnostic imaging
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / drug therapy*
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / physiopathology
  • Crocus*
  • Electroencephalography
  • Evoked Potentials
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Mental Status and Dementia Tests
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Nootropic Agents / adverse effects
  • Nootropic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Extracts / adverse effects
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Nootropic Agents
  • Plant Extracts