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Matthew Pase: Bacopa monnieri and the treatment
of mental disorders: An overview of the current scientific
Traditional knowledge suggests that the Indian herb Bacopa monnieri may be beneficial for a variety of mental disorders. In recent years, there have been a large number of human clinical trials exploring the cognitive enhancing effects of Bacopa, with much of this research conducted in Australia. Research is also beginning to consider the potential uses of Bacopa in the treatment of anxiety and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). This presentation will provide an overview of current evidence regarding the mental health benefits of Bacopa. Most of the research on Bacopa and brain health has focused on cognitive health and this will be the primary focus of this talk. Across the available studies, evidence suggests that prescribing Bacopa for 3 months may help improve specific aspects of memory function in adults without cognitive impairment. Most of these studies tend to be small both in sample size (N<100) and treatment duration (<6 months). In comparison to memory, other cognitive domains such as executive function have been less well studied. Preclinical evidence suggests that Bacopa may be useful in protecting the brain against some dementia related pathology. However, evidence regarding the cognitive enhancing effects of Bacopa in humans with cognitive impairment is scarce. The potential uses of Bacopa in ADHD will also be briefly discussed.
Dr Gerald Muench: Identification of
anti-inflammatory compounds from
Background: In traditional oriental therapies, cinnamon has a long history of medicinal use, including for the treatment of diabetes and for infections. In addition, cinnamon has been demonstrated to have anti-oxidant properties, however, there have been only a few studies investigating its anti-inflammatory properties. Aim: To identify potential anti-inflammatory components in Cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum). Results: In the sequential extracts, a total of 13 compounds were identified. The main constituents in the fractions of the extracts were cinnamyl alcohol (18.6%), trans-cinnamaldehyde (18.3%), benzyl benzoate (11.6%), o-methoxycinnamaldehyde (7.05%), eugenol (3.15%) p-cymene (3.07%), β-caryophyllene (1.10%) and cinnamal acetate (0.409%). All the above compounds showed the potent anti-inflammatory activity against the NO inhibition with the IC50 below 0.18 mMol while p-cymene, methoxycinnamaldehyde and β-caryophyllene were the most potently active compounds against the NO inhibition with the IC50 values of 0.040 ± 0.010 mMol, 0.045 ± 0.010 mMol and 0.050 ± 0.010 mMol, respectively. Furthermore except eugenol, cinnamyl alcohol and cinnamyl acetate, all the other compounds showed potent TNF-α inhibition with IC50 value below 0.30 mMol, while β-caryophyllene was the most potently active candidate in terms of TNF-α inhibition with an IC50 value 0.025±0.010 mMol. Discussion: These findings indicate that the components of C. zeylanicum may be possibly used as an anti-inflammatory treatment for inflammatory conditions.