L-Theanine improves the ability to concentrate on the task at hand
Taking L-Theanine has been shown to improve alpha-wave activity in the human brain. Alpha-wave activity is elevated when a person is awake but relaxed (theta-waves are elevated when a person is awake but drowsy, and beta-waves are elevated when you are active but anxious).
Previously it has been shown that alpha-wave activity when elevated demonstrates selective attention. In this study test subjects were given tasks which involved a number of senses to understand and perform and activity in regions of their brain was observed by scientists from the Department of Psychology, the City College of CUNY, through the use of 168 scalp electrodes to gather electrophysiological activity. L-Theanine improved the ability to concentrate on the task at hand and tended to allow the participant to filter out extraneous events that would distract the person; in other words it improved the ability to stay focused. The ability to pay attention to sound was impacted more than vision. L-Theanine may have a specific effect on the ability to pay attention. The study is published in the Jan-Feb 2007 issue of the journal Clinical Neuropharmacology.
L-Theanine protects the brain, improves neurotransmitter levels, and enhances memory and cognition
Scientists from the Monash Center for Brain and Behavior, Monash University in Australia have recently published a description of the effects of L-Theanine on the brain based on carefully collated research. Neurochemistry studies suggest that L-Theanine increases serotonin and dopamine levels in the brain, as well as GABA levels. It has also demonstrated a neuroprotective effect especially protecting brain cells from excito-toxicity caused by the by the neuro-stimulant glutamate. Behavioral studies in the lab show that it may improve learning and memory. Overall, L-Theanine has pharmacologic activity that is both neuroprotective (brain cell protective) and cognitive enhancing. The study is published in a recent issue of the Journal of Herbal Pharmacotherapy, 2006;6(2).