Researchers at the University of Montana have released results from a recent in vitro study on a standardized extract of Bacopa monnieri, a plant used widely and historically in the traditional Indian system of Ayurveda to enhance cognitive health, memory and mood. The results were presented at a poster session at the annual meeting of the American Society of Pharmacognosy held at Oregon State University in Corvallis, OR, in July. While previous in vitro studies on Bacopa focus on the neurotransmitters GABA and acetylcholine, this study provided direct evidence that Bacopa can also regulate the activity of specific serotonin receptors. The study concluded that the Bacopa extract displaces antagonist [3H] Ketanserin from serotonin receptor 5HT2a isolated from rats, and exhibited even stronger effects in its displacement of agonist 8-OH-DPAT from the 5HT1a receptor. The study also concluded that this Bacopa extract decreases cAMP production in cells with 5HT1a receptors, suggesting it causes an agonistic effect. This effect was similar to results from a previous study where Bacopa displayed antidepressant effects comparable to imipramine. Geni Herbs manufactured the Bacopa extract used in the study.
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