Studies related to Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder and Ashwagandha

Randomized Placebo-controlled Adjunctive Study Of An Extract Of Withania Somnifera For Cognitive Dysfunction In Bipolar Disorder

Effect Decrease
Values Young Mania Rating Scale. Mean + standard deviation. Placebo: before 3.7 (2.2), after 3.2 (2.7). Intervention: before 3.9, after 2.8)
Trial Design Randomized trial
Trial Length 1-6 months
Number of Subjects 60
Gender Both Genders
Age Range 18-29, 30-44, 45-64, 65+
Notes for this study:
In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, 60 subjects with bipolar disorder took an ashwagandha extract or placebo for 8 weeks. The subjects who took ashwagandha received 250 mg/d (standardized to a minimum of 8% withanolides and a maximum of 2% Withaferin A) for the first week, and 500 mg for the rest of the study, however, if the participants suspected adverse effects of ashwagandha, they were allowed to reduce their dose to 250 mg/d, which was the case with 3.

The primary outcome was working memory as evaluated by an auditory 8 Digit-Span test. Compared with placebo, the ashwagandha group saw a small, statistically significant improvement in the span backward portion, but not for span forward.

The participants also performed the flanker test and the results favored the ashwagandha group but were only statistically significant for the neutral condition. Results for tests of executive function and processing speed were ambiguous and not statistically significant. The researchers also evaluated affective symptoms and possibly found reductions in depression and mania, but not anxiety, though statistical tests weren't performed for these. The only adverse event that seemed to be higher in the ashwagandha group was diarrhea in 5 participants compared with 1 in the placebo group.