Alzheimer's disease is a brain disorder correlated with major reductions of neurons to the respective target areas and named after German physician Alois Alzheimer. Alzheimer's destroys brain cells, causing cognitive modalities severe enough to affect language communication, memory, lifelong hobbies or social life. Alzheimer's gets worse over time, and it is fatal.
According to statistic, over 25 million people in the world today are affected by dementia and most are suffering from Alzheimer's disease. It may be results of cigarette smoking, midlife high blood pressure and obesity, diabetes, and cerebrovascular lesions) and the possible beneficial roles of psychosocial factors (eg, high education, active social engagement, physical exercise, and mentally stimulating activity)(1) Strong evidences emerged in epidemiological studies suggested that certain herbs(2) may have potential in reduced risk and treatments of Alzheimer's disease but geographic source of the plant material, climatation, and time of harvest may effect their effectiveness. It is understandable that commercially available herbal medicinal products with the same herbal ingredients vary in their content and concentration of chemical constituents when compared between manufacturers.
Chinese Cat's claw also known as Gou Teng, Uncaria rhynchophylla, a genus of Uncaria, belonging to the family Rubiaceae, native to China. The herb is said to consist neuroprotective, anticonvulsive, sedative and antipsychotic effect.
Mice given a subcutaneous injection of D-gal (50 mg/kg) and orally administered Uncaria rhynchophylla (EUR) (100, 200, or 400 mg/kg) daily for 8 weeks, significantly increased exploratory behavior (assessed by an open-field test) and improved spatial learning and memory function (assessed by the Morris water maze test) as well as increasing the levels of acetylcholine and glutathione and decreasing the activity of acetylcholinesterase and the level of malondialdehyde in the brains through enhancement of the antioxidant status of brain tissue(21. Center for Asian Traditional Medicine Research, Tohoku University also indicated that Uncaria rhynchophylla has remarkably inhibitory effects on the regulation of Abeta fibrils(22), a significant step in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease.
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(1) Epidemiology of Alzheimer's disease: occurrence, determinants, and strategies toward intervention. by Qiu C, Kivipelto M, von Strauss E.(PubMed)
(2) The Use of Herbal Medicine in Alzheimer's Disease—A Systematic Review by Leopoldo Luiz dos Santos-Neto,1 Maria Alice de Vilhena Toledo,2 Patrícia Medeiros-Souza,3 and Gustavo Almeida de Souza(PubMed)
(20) Effect of aromatherapy on patients with Alzheimer's disease by Jimbo D, Kimura Y, Taniguchi M, Inoue M, Urakami K(PubMed)
(21) Uncaria rhynchophylla ameliorates cognitive deficits induced by D-galactose in mice.
Xian YF, Lin ZX, Zhao M, Mao QQ, Ip SP, Che CT(PubMed)(22) Uncaria rhynchophylla, a Chinese medicinal herb, has potent antiaggregation effects on Alzheimer's beta-amyloid proteins by Fujiwara H, Iwasaki K, Furukawa K, Seki T, He M, Maruyama M, Tomita N, Kudo Y, Higuchi M, Saido TC, Maeda S, Takashima A, Hara M, Ohizumi Y, Arai H(PubMed)