Alzheimer’s: Chinese herb proven to ‘improve memory retention’ and cerebral blood flow
Alzheimer’s disease is a common type of dementia that causes a gradual decline in intellectual function. This is one of the most dangerous diseases in the world, destroying the lives of both the victims and their loved ones. Although the exact cause of the disease is unknown, researchers have found a number of clues to help treat symptoms. In China, certain herbs have been approved as medicines to treat dementia without unpleasant side effects.
There are currently several FDA-approved drugs for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, but the two most commonly used are donepezil and tacrine.
Both drugs work by blocking the action of an enzyme that breaks down acetylcholine (AChE), a neurotransmitter involved in learning and memory.
By increasing levels of this chemical in the brain, medications can improve cognition in some people suffering from cognitive decline.
However, the side effects of these drugs, such as vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea, limit their safe use in the wider population.
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The key mechanism of action of these drugs, inhibition of acetylcholinesterase, plays a critical role in neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease.
One herbal remedy that has proven effective in achieving this goal is the Chinese herb Qiang ceng ta.
Also known as Huperzine A, the plant has been used for over 1,000 years to treat several conditions, according to Science Direct.
Neuroscientists have proven that Huperzine A inhibits AChE activity more effectively than some drugs.
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As a result, the drug is officially used as a “memory-enhancing dietary supplement in the United States,” adds Science Direct.
“Prescriptions for Medical Nutrition” explains: “Chinese herb qian cheng ta enhances memory. This is the same herb that is the source of Huperzine A and is also known as club moss.
“Pure and standardized extracts of this herb have been shown to improve mental clarity, speech, and more in a significant percentage of Alzheimer’s patients.
“It is a potent blocker of acetylcholinesterase, an enzyme that regulates the activity of acetylcholine, which is an important brain chemical that supports healthy learning and memory functions.”
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According to WebMD, the herb has become a common antidote not only for Alzheimer’s disease, but also for other mentally disturbing diseases.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, for example, Huperzine A has proven useful in treating several mental conditions caused by inflammation.
The plant was identified in the 1980s by scientists at the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
They found that the potent chemical Huperzine A comes from exactly two species; Chinese clubmoss (Huperzia Serrata) and spruce clubmoss (Huperzia Selago).
It was then found that taking the herb orally for six months could improve memory and thinking ability in patients suffering from cognitive decline.
While it may improve symptoms, there is limited evidence that it may prevent the disease.
Other important considerations for preventing the onset of cognitive decline include making the most of your brain to stay cognitively sharp.
Staying social, writing, and reading are all easy ways to prevent cognitive decline.
While early diagnosis will also not prevent disease progression, it will empower patients to make an informed decision about future treatment.
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