Researchers at Kyung Hee University, Chung-Ang University, and Gachon University in South Korea looked at the efficacy of Aralia continentalis extract on cognitive memory and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). They published their findings in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
The researchers aimed to develop a novel treatment for trauma-associated disorders like PTSD, a disease associated with the experience of traumatic stress.
The traumatic experience results in the development of a prolonged stress response that impairs memory function and increases inflammation in the hippocampus.
A.continentalis is traditionally used in oriental medicine. It has been reported to possess pharmacological properties, such as anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-atherosclerotic, and anti-diabetic effects.
However, its effects on cognitive memory and PTSD are not yet fully understood.
For the study, the researchers evaluated the effect of A.continentalison spatial cognitive impairment caused by single prolonged stress in a rat model of PTSD.
They first induced chronic stress in rats, then treated them with different doses of A.continentalisfor 21 consecutive days.
Treatment with 100 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg) of A.continentalisinhibited cognitive impairment caused by single prolonged stress.
It also significantly reduced memory-related reductions in brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) mRNA and protein levels in the hippocampus.
Overall, A.continentalis substantially inhibited the cognitive deficits caused by single prolonged stress.
These findings suggested that A.continentalisreversed the behavioral impairments and inflammation triggered by single prolonged stress-derived traumatic stress, indicating its potential as a treatment for PTSD.
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Lee B, et al. THE ETHANOLIC EXTRACT OF ARALIA CONTINENTALIS AMELIORATES COGNITIVE DEFICITS VIA MODIFICATIONS OF BDNF EXPRESSION AND ANTI-INFLAMMATORY EFFECTS IN A RAT MODEL OF POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 8 January 2019; 19(1). DOI: 10.1186/s12906-018-2417-0