[#2014-02] Lion’s Mane Inanaga, Kazutoyo et al. Improvement of refractory schizophrenia on using Amyloban®3399 extracted from Hericium erinaceum


Nerve growth factor (NGF) is considered as a very promising candidate in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease [1]. However, NGF is a protein that becomes inactive after oral administration. A breakthrough in treatment occurred with the discovery of a class of compounds derived from the Lion’s Mane mushroom (Yamabush­itake, Hericium erinaceum), which stimulate the production of NGF [2,3].

Bioactive substances in H. erinaceum including hericenones, have the potential to repair neurological damage, improve brain function, and possibly prevent and treat Alzheimer’s disease. If the substances in H. erinaceum are able to cross the blood brain bar­rier, then NGF may act to repair neuronal function. Since early 1990s, Kawagishi and colleagues have been investigating the role of compounds derived from H. erinaceum in the treatment of de­mentia [4e6]. They found that H. erinaceum exhibited important bioactive properties, including the induction of NGF synthesis, in­hibition of the cytotoxicity of amyloid beta peptide, and protection against neuronal cell death caused by oxidative or endoplasmic stress.


Amyloban®3399-a product made of amycenone, a standardized extract of H. erinaceum containing hericenones and amyloban is currently being tested for safety as a health food supplement. It has been reported that Amyloban®3399 raises level of mental alertness, encourages positive behaviors, improves mood and attentiveness to one’s surroundings, and thus, should increase learning and motivation, while promoting voluntary interactions with others [7]. Carlsson et al. showed that one of the major problems of schizo­phrenia was the poor response of cognitive symptoms to available treatments, even when the positive symptoms showed improve­ments [8]. It has been repeatedly observed in clinical trials that positive symptoms may be reduced over a 4-12 week period, but it can take months to see improvements in cognitive symptoms. Based on these observations, it is hypothesized that Amyloban®3399 may be beneficial for treating primary cognitive deficits and negative symptoms of schizophrenia.