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Supplementing conventional medicine with Chinese remedies improve the prognosis of Alzheimer’s patients


A recent study examined the additional benefits conferred by Chinese herbal medicines when administered alongside conventional treatments for Alzheimer’s disease. They found that the herbal therapy extended and improved the short-term effects of pharmaceutical therapies for the neurological disease.

The Beijing University of Chinese Medicine supported the study. The findings were published in the science journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

  • The participants consisted of 344 outpatients diagnosed with probable dementia linked to Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Each participant received either conventional treatment for AD or the combination of conventional and herbal therapies.
  • A patient was evaluated by two means. First, coronary MRI scans of the brain were taken. Second, mini-mental state examinations (MMSE) of the cognitive functions were performed every three months for up to 24 months.
  • By the 18th and 24th month, the participants who received both conventional and herbal treatments achieved better average scores. At the 24th month, deterioration of cognitive function was more or less stopped.
  • The patients with mild AD benefited the most from complementary Chinese herbal medicines. Their cognitive function was mostly stable by the 24th month, while participants with moderate cases suffered much slower cognitive decline.
  • The combination of conventional and herbal treatments imparted greater benefits for the patients. The symptomatic effect increased over time.

The results of the cohort study indicated that traditional Chinese medicines could serve as complementary therapy to improve conventional treatments of Alzheimer’s disease.

If you are interested in reading the complete study, visit this link.

To learn more about the herbal medicines that helped treat Alzheimer’s disease, visit ChineseMedicine.news.

Journal Reference:

Shi J, Ni J, Lu T, Zhang X, Wei M, Li T, Liu W, Wang Y, Shi Y, Tian J. ADDING CHINESE HERBAL MEDICINE TO CONVENTIONAL THERAPY BRINGS COGNITIVE BENEFITS TO PATIENTS WITH ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE: A RETROSPECTIVE ANALYSIS. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2017;17(533). DOI: 10.1186/s12906-017-2040-5

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