Herbal Supplements
Alzheimer's Disease and Herbal Remedies
General
 
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder of the brain. It is characterized by the the gradual decline of a person's memory and ability to learn, reason, make judgments, communicate and perform daily activities. On more progressive stages patients experience changes in personality and behavior – anxiety, suspiciousness or agitation, delusions or hallucinations occur if the disease develops. Alzheimer’s disease is the form of dementia, a condition that gradually destroys brain cells, leading to the mental function decline. Depending on the stage of the development, the Alzheimer’s disease may be mild, moderate or severe. Mild is characterized by the patient’s tendency to become less energetic and spontaneous; these changes are usually hardly noticeable. On the moderate stage patients require assistance with complicated activities, but are still able to perform tasks independently. Severe cases of Alzheimer’s disease are characterized by the difficulty to perform simple tasks (like walking) and the patients usually require constant supervision.
 
Symptoms
 
The most common early symptom of Alzheimer’s disease is the memory loss (amnesia), which progresses with illness development. Patients tend to forget recent events, but have relative preservation of older memories. With the disorder development, the degradation extends to the domains of language (aphasia), skilled movements (apraxia), recognition (agnosia), decision-making and planning (functions related to the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain).
 
Causes
 
There are no definite causes of the Alzheimer’s disease yet discovered. Genetic factor and the combination of other conditions are thought to be the reasons of Alzheimer’s disease. Particular brain characteristics, usually inherited, increase the risk of the disease with the people whose close relatives had similar disorder. Head injury, high blood pressure, heart disease, insufficient brain activity are the factors that make the Alzheimer’s disease more likely to develop.
 
Traditional Approaches
 
The cure for the disease has not been found and its progression is not possible to slow. Medications are usually prescribed to alleviate some cognitive symptoms (tacrine), keep some symptoms from worsening (donepezil, rivastigmine, galantamine) and to control sleeplessness, anxiety and depression.
 
 
Alternative Approaches
 
To treat memory and other disorders associated with the Alzheimer’s disease the number of herbs containing alkaloids is used. 
 
Lycorus radiata (shisuan) is rich in the alkaloids that have been shown to be reversible cholinesterase inhibitors. They produce effective anticholinesterase activity in the thalamus. The herb also possesses sedative action and prolongs sleep time.
 
The alkaloids of macleaya cordata (boluohui) have a more potent local anesthetic action and also inhibit cholinesterase. The herb has been traditionally used for bacterial infections and trichomonas.
 
Coptis chinenses (huanglian) contains berberine alkaloids. They are effective in producing analgetic, sedative and muscle-relaxing properties.
 
Another source of berberine are berberis species. Herbal preparations from this plant have strong anticholinesterase, sleep-enhancing properties and reduce spontaneous activity of mice.
 
Securinega suffruticosa (yiyiqiu) contains alkaloid called solanum, which reduces sensitivity to pain and also has strong anticholinesterase action.
 
Testimonials
Mudmessiah
2015-07-21 06:07:46
I'm looking for more information on dong quai and Alzheimer's I heard of a study about Amyloid protein conglomerate reduction using the herb .
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