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The Lucknow-based Central Drug Research Institute (cdri) is awaiting permission from the Drug Controller of India to commence the testing of a memory drug among human volunteers. cdri director V P Kamboj claims that significant advances have been made in testing constituents from the medicinal plant Brahmi (Bacopa monniea).
Kamboj says that the constituents, bacosides A and B, have shown encouraging results in enhancing memory in animals like rats and monkeys. He also says the drug has drawn volunteers who feel that it "is not going to harm them and might rather improve their memory". Brahmi has even been mentioned in the Rig Veda as a memory stimulator. Tests conducted by cdri showed that the plant extract increased rna and dna synthesis in the brain, resulting in increased protein levels.
While Kamboj says that the drug will probably not be available in the market for a couple of years, a Madras-based pharmaceutical firm, Velvette International Pharma, has already entered into an agreement with cdri to produce memory enhancer ayurvedic formulations as confectionery items, "memory toffees".