Alzheimer’s disease is a common form of dementia that is known to destroy memory and other cognitive functions earning the moniker of being known as the brain wasting disease. Not only does this condition severely reduce quality of life but it carries a heavy burden for the family and society. Treatments for this debilitating disease are largely ineffective and can have serious side effects, making it paramount to find new strategies to be deployed against this disease.
In this review studies were analyzed that examined the active components of Chinese herbal medicines and their therapeutic effects on AD. One of the active compounds reviewed was ginsenoside Rg1 extracted from ginseng root. This compound helps by exerting a gamma secretase inhibitor effect that reduces amyloid beta aggregation that plays a role in the development of this disease, and it also inhibits programmed cell death of nerve cells.
Tanshinone IIA derived from red sage root and baicalin derived from the root of Chinese skullcap were found to inhibit oxidative stress injury in nerve cells.
Icariin extracted from barrenwort was found to help reduce amyloid beta levels and the hyperphosphorylation of tau protein; it was also found to inhibit oxidative stress and programmed cell death.
Huperzine A derived from toothed clubmoss was found to exhibit a cholinesterase inhibitor effect. Evodiamine extracted from evodia fruit and curcumin extracted from turmeric were found to exhibit anti-inflammatory actions.
According to the researchers their findings suggest active components from these Chinese herbal medicines may help in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease because they have multi-target effects and fewer side effects.
While current there is not a known cure for this disease, treatment is typically focused on improving the quality of life. Along with the remedies mentioned above acupuncture may help to boost moods and cognitive functions in those suffering with this condition. Regular consumption of omega-3 fatty acids may help to reduce cognitive impairment according to a study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s disease. Aromatherapy may help to improve one’s sense of well being as well as calmness, and certain essential oils are believed to help improve thinking abilities.
Prevention will always be better than a cure, as such experts suggest to keep the body and mind healthy and working to preserve cognitive function to help prevent Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
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This article is not intended to provide medical diagnosis, advice, treatment, or endorsement.