A quarterly publication of the Autism Research Institute

The Autism Research Review International is quarterly publication of the Autism Research Institute

Winter, 2016 | Number 1, Volume 30

Mouse study: Korean red ginseng beneficial

Korean red ginseng reduces autistic-like behaviors in a mouse model of autism spectrum disorders (ASD), according to a new study. 

Edson Gonzales and colleagues investigated the effects of this type of ginseng on male offspring of mice injected with valproic acid during pregnancy. These offspring exhibit symptoms similar to those seen in autism. 

When the mice reached 21 days of age (equivalent to early school age in human children), the researchers began giving them daily oral doses of Korean red ginseng (100 or 200 mg/kg). Between days 28 and 38 (a stage similar to human puberty), they tested the social interaction, locomotor activity, repetitive behaviors, short-term spatial working memory, motor coordination, and seizure susceptibility of the mice. 

The researchers report, “Remarkably, long-term Korean red ginseng treatment at both dosages normalized all the ASD-related behaviors in valproic acid-exposed mice, except motor coordination ability.” 

Gonzales and colleagues say their findings indicate that Korean red ginseng may be capable of reducing symptoms of autism even after early brain development is complete. They call for further studies to isolate the chemicals in the ginseng that are responsible for its apparent effects.


“Supplementation of Korean red ginseng improves behavior deviations in animal models of autism,” Edson Luck T. Gonzales, Jong-Hwa Jang, Darine Froy N. Mabunga, Ji-Woon Kim, Mee Jung Ko, Kyu Suk Cho, Geon Ho Bahn, Minha Hong, Jong Hoon Ryu, Hee Jin Kim, Jae Hoon Cheong, and Chan Young Shin, Food & Nutrition Research, February 1, 2016 (online). Address: Chan Young Shin, Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, Konkuk University, 1 HwayangDong, Gwangjin-Gu, Seoul 143-701, Korea, [email protected] .kr.