Category: Parkinson's Disease: Cognitive functions
To explore whether the medicinal mushrooms Hericium erinaceus and Ganoderma lucidum may help to stabilize or improve cognitive function in Parkinson’s patients with mild cognitive impairment.
The oriental mushrooms Hericium erinaceus and Ganoderma lucidum are commonly used as a food supplement to improve cognition in traditional Chinese and Japanese medicine. Hericenones can induce NGF (e.g., Lai et al. 2013), while erinacines can dissolve amyloid-beta (e.g., Teng et al. 2018). Hericium also has antioxidant properties. Three small RCTs suggest improvement of cognition in MCI (e.g., Mori et al. 2009), and improved relaxation and sleep.
This presentation reports on clinical experience from 5 patients with Parkinson’s disease and mild cognitive impairment (2 women and 3 men, aged 61-79 years), from a neurology practice at a hospital using integrative medicine. The patients had signed a general consent form, and this study represents a small case report series, which requires no ethics review. All patients used glycerine extracts of 2.5 ml each of Hericium erinaceus and Ganoderma lucidum 2x/day for 3 months, followed by 1x/day for another 6 months or more. Medical records were screened for results of cranial MRI, for medical treatment including antidepressants and antidementia medication, and for potential changes in the commonly used cognitive test of MOCA.
Three patients had a normal MRI, one had a minimal leukoencephalopathy and one had a prior cerebral infarct in territory of the middle cerebral artery, as well as a prior subarachnoid hemorrhage. Two patients were taking a preparation of ginkgo biloba to improve cerebral circulation, and three patients were taking St. John’s Wort as antidepressant medication. Baseline MOCA scores ranged from 20 to 25.
After intake of of Hericium erinaceus and Ganoderma lucidum extracts for an average of about 9 months, all 5 patients had an improvement of the total score in the MOCA test. One patient improved by 7 points, one patient improved by 5 points, one by 3 points and two improved by 2 points. All 5 patients tolerated the mushroom extracts well.
The oriental mushrooms Hericium erinaceus and Ganoderma lucidum may hold promise for the improvement of cognitive function in Parkinson patients with mild cognitive impairment, and deserve further basic and clinical studies.
References: Lai PL et al. 2013: Neurotrophic properties of the Lion’s mane medicinal mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Higher Basidiomycetes) from Malaysia. Int J Med Mushrooms 15(6): 539-554.
Mori K et al. 2009: Improving effects of the mushroom Yamabushitake (Hericium erinaceus) on mild cognitive impairment: a double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. Phytother Res 23(3): 367-72.
Tseng TT et al. 2018: The Cyanthin Diterpenoid and Sesterterpene Constituents of Hericium erinaceus Mycelium Ameliorate Alzheimer’s Disease-Related Pathologies in APP/PS1 Transgenic Mice. Int J Mol Sci 19(2): 598-620.
To cite this abstract in AMA style:S. Elsas. Can medicinal mushrooms help to stabilize or improve cognitive function in Parkinson’s patients with mild cognitive impairment? [abstract]. Mov Disord. 2023; 38 (suppl 1). https://www.mdsabstracts.org/abstract/can-medicinal-mushrooms-help-to-stabilize-or-improve-cognitive-function-in-parkinsons-patients-with-mild-cognitive-impairment/. Accessed September 23, 2023.
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