Memory can be affected by so many things: age, stress, nutrition, toxicity in the body, circulation, medications...the list is as varied as each individual person. Therefore, our Memory Plus formula contains more than a dozen herbs that address varying causes of memory loss. Of course, a 'bad' memory does not mean we have Alzheimer's or dementia; sometimes we need a little support to fortify our memory. Dementia and Alzheimer's have become every-day words, but most explanations of these processes are very complex.. To address one aspect in a simplified manner, when our brains become deficient in acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter, loss of memory can result (as in Alzheimer's). A number of common prescription drugs such as Aricept ® are an 'acetylcholinesterase' inhibitor'. In simple terms, these allow levels of acetylcholine to increase in the brain, which is beneficial for memory. We feature Ashwagandha in our formula because it is a natural 'acetylcholinesterase' inhibitor'. Always consult your healthcare practitioner when adding herbs to your prescription regimen.
Our formula also features other brain-supportive herbs such as Ginkgo Biloba and Rosemary. Most consumers are familiar with Ginkgo's circulation-boosting benefits. The clinical study 'Ginkgo biloba extract EGb 761® in dementia with neuropsychiatric features: a randomised, placebo-controlled trial to confirm the efficacy and safety of a daily dose of 240 mg.' observes: 'In conclusion, treatment with EGb 761(®) at a once-daily dose of 240 mg was safe and resulted in a significant and clinically relevant improvement in cognition, psychopathology, functional measures and quality of life of patients and caregivers.' (bold ours) (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22459264)
The Alzheimer's Society (of the UK) explains Acetyl choline as follows: 'Chemicals that send signals between nerve cells (which includes brain cells) are known as neurotransmitters. Acetylcholine was the first neurotransmitter ever to be identified (in 1914). There is a well-established theory that boosting levels of acetylcholine in the brain can help to prevent the damage that underpins Alzheimer's disease...We know that the system of nerve cells (neurones) that uses acetylcholine as a chemical messenger (or neurotransmitter) plays an important role in the control of blood flow in the brain. This system is known as the cholinergic system. Research has shown that stimulating the cholinergic neurones in a specific part of the brain can help to increase blood flow in the brains of rats by making the walls of the blood vessels relax.' (http://alzheimers.org.uk/site/scripts/documents_info.php?documentID=744&pageNumber=3))Although the data in some clinical studies is geared to medical professionals, the following studies may be useful for those wishing to discuss alternative and complementary treatments with their healthcare professional.
The clinical study 'Neuritic regeneration and synaptic reconstruction induced by withanolide A' (British Journal of Pharmacology) '...Ashwagandha (root of Withania somnifera Dunal) is the most popular herbal drug in Ayurvedic medicine, and has been used traditionally and commonly as a tonic and nootropic agent. It has also been reported to be associated with improvements in scopolamine-induced memory deficits in mice (Dhuley, 2001). We previously demonstrated that a methanol extract of Ashwagandha was associated with neurite extension and, in particular, that of dendrites (Tohda et al., 2000). In addition, we identified that six constituents isolated from the methanol extract induced neurite outgrowth in human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells (Zhao et al., 2002). In normal cortical neurons, predominant axonal outgrowth was observed in the treatment with withanolide A (WL-A), which was one of the major active constituents isolated from Ashwagandha (Kuboyama et al., 2002)/..Here, we demonstrated that WL-A could facilitate the regeneration of axons and dendrites, and this compound led to the dramatic reconstruction of pre- and postsynapses, when neuron damage had already progressed. Moreover, WL-A could ameliorate the memory deficit in mice, and could generate neurites and synapses in the cerebral cortex and the hippocampus. These effects of WL-A in vivo were maintained even after the discontinuance of drug administration. Therefore, WL-A has potential as an essentially useful drug to treat neurodegenerative diseases when used together with treatments preventing pathogenesis and neuronal death.' (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1576076/)
The clinical study 'Protective Role of Ashwagandha Leaf Extract and Its Component Withanone on Scopolamine-Induced Changes in the Brain and Brain-Derived Cells' concludes: 'scopolamine-induced memory loss may be associated with oxidative stress and Ashwagandha i-Extract, and withanone may serve as potential preventive and therapeutic agents for neurodegenerative disorders and hence warrant further molecular analyses.