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 SYMPOSIUM
Year : 1997  |  Volume : 29  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 359-365

Neuropsychopharmacological effects of the Ayurvedic nootropic Bacopa monniera Linn. (Brahmi)


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H K Singh


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Bacopa monniera Linn. (Brahmi) has been used since times immemorial as nerve tonic for Improvement of memory The authentication of the traditional claims of brahmi was initiated by investigating the effect of an alcoholic extract of this plant on acquisition, consolidation and retention of three newly acquired behavioural responses in albino rats, viz.. a foot-shock motivated brightness discrimination response, active conditioned avoidance response and Sidman continuous avoidance response. The facilitatory effect of the brahmi extract (40 mg/kg, p o. x 3d) was manifest in all the three learning responses as it augmented both the cognitive function and mental retention capacity. The chemical constituent responsible for the facilitator) effect of brahmion learning schedules was identified as a mixture of two saponins designated as bacosides A and B.The bacosides significantly improved the acquisition, consolidation and retention in the shock-motivated brightness discrimination response, active conditioned avoidance response and produced a dose-dependent facilitation of discretion between an aversive (LiCL) and palatable fluid (sucrose) in the conditioned taste aversion (CTA) response. Bacosides also attenuated the retrograde amnesia produced by Immobilisation induced stress, E C S and scopolamine. They also enhanced protein kinase activity and produced an Increase in protein in hippocampus. Bacosides were also found to be safe in regulatory pharmacological and toxicological studies and were well tolerated by normal healthy male human volunteers in single dose (20-300 mg) and multiple doses (100 and 200 mg) administered for 4 weeks double blind placebo controlled and non-crossover regulatory Phase-I clinical trial.






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