Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New herbal drug therapy effective in treating vascular dementia

11.06.2003


American Heart Association meeting report



For centuries, the herb Chinese gastrodine has been used in China to treat disorders such as dizziness, headache and even ischemic stroke. Research presented today at the American Heart Association’s Second Asia Pacific Scientific Forum shows treatment with a gastrodine compound granule is effective in improving impaired memory, orientation, language and other effects of stroke in patients who were diagnosed with mild to moderate vascular dementia (VaD) after their stroke.

Vascular dementia is one of the most common dementias ranked after Alzheimer’s disease. It’s a growing problem in China, with a prevalence of about one to three percent, similar to prevalence rates in the United States and Europe. Because some medications for the condition are very expensive for most patients in China, researchers focused on finding treatments that would be effective and less costly. Chinese herbal medicines not only are less expensive and have fewer side effects than standard chemical medications, but they are also more accepted by the Chinese people, according to lead researcher Jinzhou Tian, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Institute of Geriatrics, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine.


For this study, researchers selected the gastrodine compound granule. It’s extracted from tall gastrodia tuber plants and six other herbs and is the first of new herbal drugs in dementia to be tested in clinical trials. The 12-week, randomized, double-blind trial was done in Beijing Dongzhimen Hospital, one of the hospitals running the clinical trials between 1999 and 2002. Researchers identified 120 stroke patients (75 male 45 female) who were diagnosed with mild to moderate VaD lasting three months or more. All patients were assessed for VaD at baseline and randomly divided into two treatment groups. One group (70 patients) was given one bag of the gastrodine compound granule (2.6 milligram gastrodine) three times a day for 12 weeks. The second group (50 patients) was given 40 mg of Duxilâ (almitrine + raubasine) three times a day for 12 weeks. This is a drug used to treat stroke patients in China. Both the gastrodine compound granule and the Duxilâ granule were dissolved in hot water and given orally.

In the gastrodine group, there were significant increases of the average MMSE (mini-mental state exam) score compared to baseline scores (20.83 vs.18.96). In the areas of memory, orientation, calculation, and language, the MMSE showed similar improvement in both groups.

However, the gastrodine group showed a significant difference in the Blessed Behavioral Scale (BBS) score - including behavior, activities of daily living, and personality - between endpoint (15.72) and baseline (18.76), as well as at endpoint (17.08) in the Duxilâ group. A score greater than or equal to 16 is abnormal and a score less than 16 is normal. The gastrodine group also suffered fewer side effects. Researchers say combined results showed the gastrodine group improvement was 51.43 percent, with 16 of the 70 cases showing much improvement, 20 cases with some improvement, and 34 cases with no change. The improvement rate for patients treated with Duxilâ was 52 percent, with seven of the 50 cases showing much improvement, 19 cases with some improvement, and 24 cases with no change.

The study also found that the gastrodine treatment may increase regional cerebral blood flow in VaD patients, but Tian says further study is needed to determine other benefits. Researchers also say a study of six months or more is needed to further determine the clinical effectiveness of the gastrodine compound granule for treating mild to moderate VaD. Given the positive results in the areas of memory and behavior, they say further research into herbal therapies for VaD may also be warranted.

"Chemical drugs, such as cholinesterase inhibitors, are effective in the treatment of cognitive and memory function in dementia, but these drugs are expensive and have side effects," says Tian. "This study might result in doctors considering the use of herbal medications, such as gastrodine compound granules to supplement the treatment of mild and moderate cognitive impairment in primary care for the elderly with cerebral ischemic damage."


Co-authors are Aihua Zhu, Jing Shi, Junxiang Yin, Jian Zhong, Chengzhi Yang, Shuliang Peng, Xianfeng Liu and Yongyan Wang.

NR03-1078 (AP/Tian)
Abstract P177

Carole Bullock | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.americanheart.org/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht 'Living bandages': NUST MISIS scientists develop biocompatible anti-burn nanofibers
16.02.2018 | National University of Science and Technology MISIS

nachricht New process allows tailor-made malaria research
16.02.2018 | Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

Im Focus: Autonomous 3D scanner supports individual manufacturing processes

Let’s say the armrest is broken in your vintage car. As things stand, you would need a lot of luck and persistence to find the right spare part. But in the world of Industrie 4.0 and production with batch sizes of one, you can simply scan the armrest and print it out. This is made possible by the first ever 3D scanner capable of working autonomously and in real time. The autonomous scanning system will be on display at the Hannover Messe Preview on February 6 and at the Hannover Messe proper from April 23 to 27, 2018 (Hall 6, Booth A30).

Part of the charm of vintage cars is that they stopped making them long ago, so it is special when you do see one out on the roads. If something breaks or...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Fingerprints of quantum entanglement

16.02.2018 | Information Technology

'Living bandages': NUST MISIS scientists develop biocompatible anti-burn nanofibers

16.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Hubble sees Neptune's mysterious shrinking storm

16.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>