Herbal Contributions to the Management of the Multi-Factorial Cognitive Disorders — Alzheimer's Disease and Vascular Dementia Purpose: Multi-factorial disorders of cognition such as Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia are increasing as the general population ages. The small number of drugs currently approved for the treatment of such disorders provide palliative and temporary benefit with only modest efficacy; thus, it stands to reason that alternative approaches should ... Article
Article  |   October 01, 2008
Herbal Contributions to the Management of the Multi-Factorial Cognitive Disorders — Alzheimer's Disease and Vascular Dementia
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • S. Wyler Hecht
    Oconee Natural Healthcare, Watkinsville, GA
Article Information
Special Populations / Older Adults & Aging / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Articles
Article   |   October 01, 2008
Herbal Contributions to the Management of the Multi-Factorial Cognitive Disorders — Alzheimer's Disease and Vascular Dementia
SIG 2 Perspectives on Neurophysiology and Neurogenic Speech and Language Disorders, October 2008, Vol. 18, 114-123. doi:10.1044/nnsld18.3.114
SIG 2 Perspectives on Neurophysiology and Neurogenic Speech and Language Disorders, October 2008, Vol. 18, 114-123. doi:10.1044/nnsld18.3.114
Abstract

Purpose: Multi-factorial disorders of cognition such as Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia are increasing as the general population ages. The small number of drugs currently approved for the treatment of such disorders provide palliative and temporary benefit with only modest efficacy; thus, it stands to reason that alternative approaches should be explored.

Method: Certain plants and plant derivatives are currently under study for their effects on memory and other domains of cognition. These plants and the compounds derived from them have minimal adverse effects and have multi-functional properties (anti-oxidant, pro-cholinergic, antiplatelet aggregation, amyloid beta peptide inhibiting) with relevant application in the treatment of dementia and other cognitive impairment. This paper reviews four herbal medicines (Ginkgo biloba, Bacopa monniera, Huperzine Alpha, and Vinpocetine) with varying degrees of proven benefit for the treatment of dementias and other cognitive impairment.

Results and Conclusions: These herbal medicines are promising alternative or adjunct treatment modalities. The plants or plant derivatives discussed here have, in many cases, proven to be equally or more effective than conventional drug therapy in the treatment of dementia.

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