Bacopa monnieri is a herbal medicine used since antiquity in the traditional Ayurvedic medical system of India for its cognitive enhancing effects. A number of pre-clinical and clinical studies support this traditional usage. Laboratory studies have demonstrated antioxidant and cholinergic actions in the brain as well as improved memory and cognitive performance in animal models.
Human trials of Bacopa have also demonstrated improved memory performance. Some of these trials are limited by methodological flaws such as lack of blinding, small sample sizes, or use of outcome measurements which are not well validated. However, a small number of well designed human trials provide evidence for efficacy in cognitive and memory performance improvement. The current study was employed to extend on previous findings by assessing the efficacy and safety of Bacopa in the aged population specifically, as it is in this population that memory impairment becomes apparent.