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Psychiatric patients often suffer from stress, anxiety and depression. Various plant extracts are known to fight stress (valerian), anxiety (passion flower) or depression (St. John's wort). NEURAPAS® balance is a mixture of these three extracts and has been designed to cover this complex of psychiatric conditions. The study was initiated to quantitatively assess the effect of this combination on brain electric activity.
Quantitative electroencephalogram (EEG) current source density (CSD) recording from 16 healthy male and female human volunteers (average age 49 years) was used in a randomized, placebo-controlled cross over study. Recordings were performed 0. 5, 1. 5, 3 and 4 hours after administration of the preparations under the conditions of 6 min eyes open and 5 min d2 concentration test, mathematical calculation test and memory test, respectively. All variables (electric power within 6 frequency ranges at 17 electrode positions) were fed into a linear discriminant analysis (eyes open condition). In the presence of mental load these variables were used to construct brain maps of frequency changes.
Under the condition of mental load, centro-parietal spectral power remained statistically significantly lower within alpha1, alpha2 and beta1 frequencies in the presence of verum in comparison to placebo. Discriminant analysis revealed a difference to placebo 3 and 4 hours after intake of 6 tablets of NEURAPAS® balance. Data location within the polydimensional space was projected into the area of the effects of sedative and anti-depressive reference drugs tested earlier under identical conditions. Results appeared closer to the effects of fluoxetine than to St. John's wort.
Analysis of the neurophysiological changes following the intake of NEURAPAS® balance revealed a similarity of frequency changes to those of calming and anti-depressive drugs on the EEG without impairment of cognition.