Several pediatricians specializing in the treatment of children with ABC disorders have found one formulation of our high OPC Pine Bark Extract to be a very useful adjunct treatment.

The ABC = Attention Behavior Continuum comprises a number of conditions that include Attention Deficit Disorder, with and without Hyperactivity, Asperger’s Syndrome, Autism and other conditions that share similar behavioral phenotypes.

The latest clinical study on our extract has investigated effects on cognitive function in healthy people (Pipingas et al. 2008). This study demonstrated improved performance on cognitive tasks after only 5 weeks of treatment. The results from the neuroimaging analyses are showing a strong case for the application in ADHD, Asperger’s and Autism. The high OPC PBE study used steady-state probe topography (SSPT) neuroimaging to investigate changes in brain activity associated with the treatment. This is a powerful technique established at the Brain Sciences Institute (BSI) of Swinburne University in Melbourne. With this method the researchers found significant changes in patterns of brain activity that were associated with improved performance. Professor Silberstein of BSI had previously studied the effects of methylphenidate (Ritalin) on brain activities in children with ADHD using the same technology, and found specific changes in the way the youths’ brains worked after an acute dose of Ritalin. These effects of the drug in the brain are considered to lead to the normalization in behavior and allow the children to concentrate better. Interestingly, very similar changes were seen with the our high OPC PBE, but these changes observed with our extract were milder and more supple than those observed with the drug Ritalin. These results have given some initial evidence that high OPC PBE may improve brain activities naturally to reach similar effects to Ritalin but without the risk of side effects.

At this time we can only speculate on the possible mechanisms of action that could explain the effects, correlation and/or causality. Possibilities include:

  1. Affecting the antioxidant status – reducing free radical load/oxidative stress
  2. Direct effects modifying signal transduction in the CNS from phenolic compounds and their metabolites entering circulation
  3. Indirect effects by influencing the gut-brain axis, i.e.
    • reducing leaky gut symptoms that may contribute to, or underlie, the behavioral phenotype
    • affecting levels of circulating neuroactive compounds originating from the enteric nervous system
    • modifying/reducing negative effects of dietary antigens
    • affecting metal load in the gut through strong metal-chelating properties of the proanthocyanidin compounds in high OPC PBE