Researchers from the department of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) at the Third Xiangya Hospital in Changsha China recently conducting a study exploring the effects of an herbal extract on alzheimer's disease.
The study involved 209 patients with alzheimers disease and was set to explore the effects of an herbal extract of Polygonum multiflorum (He Shou Wu or "Fo-Ti") compared to a Chinese herbal formula patent (nao fu kang, nao li kang) with a western medicine control group. 60 patients were treated with an herbal extract, 29 were treated with the Chinese herbal formula naofukang and 31 patients were in a western medicine control group. Treatment duration was 12 weeks.
Using the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and the Ability of Daily Living Scale (ADL) patients were assessed at onset and at completion of treatment. The study found that signficant improvement were found in the extract group compared to other groups. Overall effective rate was 93% in the extract group, compared with 73% in the herbal extract group, and 69% in the western medicine group.
Previous studies have been done on the herbal patent naofukang for alzheimers and other related dementia issues and have shown positive effects. Further studies are warranted to explore both other formulas that contain he shou wu, such as Shou Wu Wan, among others to find the most beneficial dose overall. Within Chinese Medicine single herbs are not used as often as the formulas tend to better direct the beneficial effects, restrict side effects, and often appear to offer stronger synergistic benefits than the single herbs alone.
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