Compounds in Hericium erinaceus are able to stimulate the production of nerve growth factor (NGF), which promotes repair and regeneration of neurons, and there is growing clinical evidence showing benefit for H. erinaceus in cases of mild dementia. In a double-blind placebo controlled trial, 50-80-year old Japanese men and women with mild cognitive impairment given 3g/day H. erinaceus as tablets showed significant increases on a cognitive function scale compared with a placebo group over a 16 week period1.
In another study 7 patients with different types of dementia were given 5g a day of H. erinaceus in soup. After six months all seven demonstrated improvement in their Functional Independence Measure score (eating, dressing, walking, etc.), while six out of seven demonstrated improvements in their perceptual capacities (understanding, communication, memory, etc.)2.
The above clinical trials both used H. erinaceus fruiting body (3-5g/day).
1. Improving effects of the mushroom Yamabushitake (Hericium erinaceus) on mild cognitive impairment: a double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. Mori K, Inatomi S, Ouchi K, Azumi Y, Tuchida T. Phytother Res. 2009;23(3):367-72.
2. The anti-dementia effect of Lion’s mane mushroom (Hericium erinaceus) and its clinical application. Kawagishi H, Zhuang C, Shnidman E. Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients 249. 2004.