In Summary

Researchers at Swinburne University of Technology are investigating the effects of a special extract of a native Indian herb and its ability to reduce symptoms related to hyperactivity, inattention and impulsivity in boys.

Bacopa monnieri has been used in traditional Indian medicine for memory and inflammation. More recently, specific extracts of Bacopa have undergone rigorous clinical trials, with results suggesting a cognitive enhancing effect.

The herbal extract CDRI 08 (sold in Australia as Keenmind) has been studied at Swinburne’s Centre for Human Psychopharmacology for the past 10 years, demonstrating positive effects on anxiety, information processing speed and verbal learning. During this time other laboratories in Australia and internationally have generally found similar results.

“The extract we have been using has been subjected to more than 50 years of Indian government research studying its mechanisms,” Professor Con Stough said.

“Studies have shown that taking this extract improves anti-oxidant defence, changes inflammatory markers and has other direct effects on the brain which all may be important for memory, cognition and our ability to concentrate.”

Studies conducted by the Central Drug Research Institute in India using CDRI 08 have also found reductions in hyperactivity and inattention against baseline readings in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) diagnosed children.

Researchers are hopeful that the herbal extract will aid in improving concentration, memory and cognitive performance in male children and adolescents who display symptoms of ADHD.

Mother of two, Wendy Gielen has been struggling with her 10 year old son Daniel, who is currently taking part in this study.

Daniel has not been diagnosed with ADHD but has issues with concentration and hyperactivity.

“At school, Daniel won’t stay seated for more than two minutes because he can’t concentrate,” Mrs Gielen said.

“He disrupts other students in class and really finds it difficult to control his temper.”

Mrs Gielen is hopeful that this treatment will help her son to be more focussed, both at home and school.

The testing involves completing a basic IQ test and a cognitive computer task to measure memory, attention, reaction time, inhibition and behavioural performance. Participants also complete mood measures, a choice reaction time task and a test of attention.

The study has approval from the Swinburne University Human Research Ethics Committee and is industry funded by Soho Flordis International. Researchers are seeking more participants. For more information please contact James Kean on:

Phone: 9214 8229