A pill which can improve memory function and which is due to go on sale in Britain next month has been welcomed by a Powys doctor.

GBL-Memory includes two plant extracts which when combined and taken for a month can "significantly improve" the memory of older people, according to a new study.

The health supplement may be able to address the process of cognitive decline in an increasingly ageing population, say scientists.

Dr Richard Stratton, a GP and Assistant Medical Director of Powys Teaching Health Board, says that mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is becoming a big issue among patients within his practice in Powys and nationwide.
He said: "The issue of mild cognitive impairment is getting worse and is medically under reported.

County Times:
"Many people who experience mild cognitive impairment are often unaware of the issue - and friends and family accommodate their memory by filling in the gaps.
"This means that MCI is often not brought to the attention of medical professionals until the condition may have developed into something worse like dementia.
"In my experience as a GP, many people reaching the age of 70 will naturally experience MCI, but unfortunately there are no prescribable drugs we can offer unless medically diagnosed with dementia."


Dr Stratton added: "This paper showing improvement in animal and human memory is very encouraging and potentially offers people with MCI some hope of improving their memory.
"The interesting thing about this study is that because it's a botanical formulation, safety issues are very unlikely and it offers people with memory issues something they can do to help the condition."

The drug contains the natural plant-derived molecules Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) and L Theanine, which are found in onion, chicory, garlic, asparagus and bananas.

The combination was found to assist memory in both animals and humans following clinical trials.

Previous research has shown that the risk of cognitive impairment (MCI) and dementia doubles every five years after the age of 65.

And up to one in 14 people aged 60 or older experience significant cognitive impairment.

GBL-Memory is the first product launched by Scotland-based Green Bioactives and will be available in the UK next month. 

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It has already been launched in Germany, under the name Memocentrix, and will then be available in the UK from June through Known Nutrition.

German man Rudi Neidhardt, who took GBL-Memory as part of an early trial, said: "I've noticed remarkable improvements in my daily life. 

"I can now remember where I leave my wallet and keys, and I even recall names from my past with ease. 

"Those  changes are only the tip of the iceberg and it feels like my brain is working better than 10 years ago in all areas of unlocking stored memory. 

"The clarity and confidence this brings is truly life changing."

How the study worked

The new study, published in the journal Food Science and Nutrition, was led by the late Gary Loake, Professor of Molecular Plant Sciences at the University of Edinburgh and Chief Scientific Officer at Green Bioactives.

A total of 120 healthy participants were divided into two groups, with half taking the supplement and half taking a placebo. 

There were "significant" advancements of up to 10 per cent in the supplement group, according to the findings.

Researchers used the Clinical Memory Scale (CMS) to assess the benefits of taking the supplement, which contribute to the improvement in total memory. 

The CMS was adapted by the Institute of Psychology of Chinese Academy of Sciences and is composed of five tests.

The areas assessed were improvements in directed memory, associate learning, meaningless image recognition, graphic memory and portrait retrieval.

After the test, the original scale was converted into scores in relation to age and educational background, according to the guidelines