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J Clin Pharm Ther. 2010 Oct;35(5):581-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2710.2009.01133.x.

Saffron in the treatment of patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease: a 16-week, randomized and placebo-controlled trial.

Author information

  • 1Psychiatric Research Center, Roozbeh Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran Institute of Medicinal Plants (ACECR), Department of Neurology, Tehran, Iran. s.akhond@neda.net

Abstract

WHAT IS KNOWN:

Herbal medicines have been used in the treatment of behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia but with variable response. Crocus sativus (saffron) may inhibit the aggregation and deposition of amyloid β in the human brain and may therefore be useful in Alzheimer's disease (AD).

OBJECTIVE:

The goal of this study was to assess the efficacy of saffron in the treatment of mild to moderate AD.

METHODS:

Forty-six patients with probable AD were screened for a 16-week, double-blind study of parallel groups of patients with mild to moderate AD. The psychometric measures, which included AD assessment scale-cognitive subscale (ADAS-cog), and clinical dementia rating scale-sums of boxes, were performed to monitor the global cognitive and clinical profiles of the patients. Patients were randomly assigned to receive capsule saffron 30 mg/day (15 mg twice per day) (Group A) or capsule placebo (two capsules per day) for a 16-week study.

RESULTS:

After 16 weeks, saffron produced a significantly better outcome on cognitive function than placebo (ADAS-cog: F=4·12, d.f.=1, P=0·04; CDR: F=4·12, d.f.=1, P=0·04). There were no significant differences in the two groups in terms of observed adverse events.

WHAT IS NEW AND CONCLUSION:

This double-blind, placebo-controlled study suggests that at least in the short-term, saffron is both safe and effective in mild to moderate AD. Larger confirmatory randomized controlled trials are called for.

Copyright © 2010 The Authors. JCPT © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

PMID:
20831681
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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