By Stephen Daniells
A new global index that combines endpoints from studies of dietary supplements for brain health may help to scientifically validate claims being made on products, says its developers at KGK Science.
The KGK scientists sought to understand if existing tools and biomarkers can confidently support the efficacy of nootropics in the nutraceutical industry, and after finding little to no comprehensive measures that capture cognitive function, they developed the the concept of the Global Index for Cognitive Function.
The goal of the Cog-GI (Cognitive Global Index), which is described in Translational Neuroscience, is to shift to a concept that is more encompassing of several outcomes rather than with single tests alone to be able to provide better results longitudinally, and identify and track cognition improvement.
“The gold standard randomized controlled clinical trials provide the casual inference necessary to define the efficacy of emerging nutraceuticals,” stated Dr Mal Evans, scientific director of KGK Science, and co-author on the paper.
“Our industry should focus on controlled studies that step away from the one-drug-one-disease concept of the pharmaceutical model to one that better encompasses multiple positive effects elicited by dietary supplements. Global indices of health may be appropriate in capturing the positive effects of dietary supplements and functional foods, and give a study the best chance at receiving favorable results.”
Beyond the MMSE
Cognitive health is a broad and nuanced field, particularly for research using healthy participants and dietary supplement interventions, where the changes may be subtle but still significant. There are many aspects of cognitive function that can be assessed, from immediate and delayed recall to measures of attention, and from verbal skills and fluency to measures such as executive function.
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