BACKGROUND: Lion’s Mane mushroom is found in supplements purporting to enhance cognition. The purpose of this study is to determine whether Lion’s Mane enhances cognitive brain functions such as memory, reaction time, or thought process speed. METHODS: 20 college-aged student-athletes (10 male, 10 female) were recruited for this study. Subjects were randomized into either a control group (CT) or supplementation group (LM). The LM group was given 1,000 mg of Lion’s Mane per day for three weeks, while the CT group did not receive any supplementation. Two computerized assessments were used to determine whether cognitive brain function improved. The Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test (CCAT) was used to evaluate different styles of cognitive function, including but not limited to; Numerical Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, Abstract Reasoning, and Attention to Detail. The second assessment was a digital Reaction Time Test performed on the computer, in which subjects waited for the screen to turn green before pressing a button. Subjects were tested with the CCAT and the Reaction Test three times in total; one familiarization test during the consent process, a pre-test at least 2 days after familiarization but before supplementation, and a post-test at the end of the 3-week supplementation period. Data were analyzed with SPSS® software to determine within and between group significance using repeated measures ANOVA. RESULTS: No significant differences were found between groups for CCAT (p = 0.075) or reaction time (p = 0.846). Within groups, the LM group improved CCAT scores from pre- to post-testing (0.40 ± 0.14 to 0.5200 ± 0.14924; p = 0.007). Reaction time in the LM group improved between familiarization and post-testing (318.60 ± 45.24 to 286.70 ± 27.72; p = 0.012) but did not reach significance for pre- to post-testing (307.80 ± 62.46 to 286.70 ± 27.72; p = 0.176). The CT group improved CCAT scores from familiarization to pre-test (0.18 ± 0.10 to 0.30 ± 0.07; p = 0.022) and post-test (0.18 ± 0.10 to 0.40 ± 0.12; p = 0.006), but not from pre- to post-test (0.30 ± 0.07 to 0.40 ± 0.12; p = 0.156). No significant improvements were found in CT reaction time scores for any time points. CONCLUSION: There is not sufficient evidence to either prove or disprove that Lion’s Mane influences Cognitive Performance, Reaction Time and Thought Process Speed. Even though the Lion’s Mane demonstrated greater improvement through both tests, the disparity between the two Groups was not significant enough to show a definite result.

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