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Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2008 May;198(1):127-39. doi: 10.1007/s00213-008-1101-3. Epub 2008 Mar 19.

An extract of Salvia (sage) with anticholinesterase properties improves memory and attention in healthy older volunteers.

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1
Brain Sciences Institute, Swinburne University, Melbourne, VIC, 3122, Australia. ascholey@swin.edu.au

Abstract

RATIONALE:

Species of Salvia (sage) have a long-standing reputation in European medical herbalism, including for memory enhancement. In recent controlled trials, administration of sage extracts with established cholinergic properties improved cognitive function in young adults.

OBJECTIVES:

This randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind, balanced, five-period crossover study investigated the acute effects on cognitive performance of a standardised extract of Salvia officinalis in older adults.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

Twenty volunteers (>65 years of age, mean = 72.95) received four active doses of extract (167, 333, 666 and 1332 mg) and a placebo with a 7-day wash-out period between visits. Assessment involved completion of the Cognitive Drug Research computerised assessment battery. On study days, treatments were administered immediately following a baseline assessment with further assessment at 1, 2.5, 4 and 6 h post treatment.

RESULTS:

Compared with the placebo condition (which exhibited the characteristic performance decline over the day), the 333-mg dose was associated with significant enhancement of secondary memory performance at all testing times. The same measure benefited to a lesser extent from other doses. There also were significant improvements to accuracy of attention following the 333-mg dose. In vitro analysis confirmed cholinesterase inhibiting properties for the extract.

CONCLUSIONS:

The overall pattern of results is consistent with a dose-related benefit to processes involved in efficient stimulus processing and/or memory consolidation rather than retrieval or working memory efficiency. These findings extend those of the memory-enhancing effects of Salvia extracts in younger populations and warrant further investigation in larger series, in other populations and with different dosing regimes.

PMID:
18350281
DOI:
10.1007/s00213-008-1101-3
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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