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Effects of Neurapas® balance on sleep EEG, cognitive performance and mood: A double blind randomised crossover study in healthy volunteers
Sleep disturbance is a major feature of patients with anxiety disorders and depression. Neurapas® balance is a triple herbal combination of dry extracts of St. John's wort (60mg), valerian (28mg) and passiflora (32mg) that is widely used for treating minor depression in Germany. We tested the effect of Neurapas® balance on mood, sleep-EEG and cognitive performance in order to evaluate its central nervous effects in humans. 20 healthy subjects were examined twice in a double-blind, randomized completely balanced crossover design and received either placebo or Neurapas® balance (3 days 3u2 tabl.). The dependent variables were sleep-EEG parameters, mood (BSKE) and vegetative symptoms (MSKL) and cognitive performance (TAP, ZVT, d2).
Neurapas® balance significantly (as compared to placebo) improved sleep continuity with a reduction of wakefulness. Non-REM-sleep was reduced in the first and significantly increased in the second sleep cycle and there was a reduction of REM-latency. A positive trend was observed in regard to mental agitation and melancholy of the BSKE and hand-trembling and hand-moisture of the MSKL. No significant differences between Neurapas® balance and placebo were found in the cognitive performance tests.
These findings show that Neurapas® balance has central nervous effects as reflected by changes in sleep EEG. It improves sleep continuity and subjective mood without negative effects on cognitive performance. The neurophysiological effects of Neurapas® balance on the brain and the improved mood of the healthy volunteers is consistent with it having therapeutic effects in anxiety and depression with accompanying insomnia.
This study was supported by Pascoe pharmaceutical Preparations GmbH, Germany.