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Chinese Herbal Medicines May be Effective Way to Treat Dementia

As medical science advances, people are living longer worldwide and one consequence of that is the prevalence of dementia, which is expected to double every 20 years. While there are currently no cures, a recent study suggests that taking Chinese herbal medicines may be more effective and have fewer side effects than Western medicine or a placebo when we treat dementia.

Researchers examined data from 31 clinical studies that included 2,868 people, 1,605 of whom took Chinese herbal medicines and 1,263 of whom took either Western medicine or a placebo.

They found that the individuals taking the Chinese herbal medicines scored higher on the Mini-Mental State Examination and also had better disease amelioration (improvement in their dementia) when compared with the control. Additionally, the supplement group had notably fewer adverse reactions than the control group.

The researchers noted, however, that the quality of these studies was not particularly high and that more research needs to be conducted to determine the effect of Chinese herbal remedies on vascular dementia.

Researchers from the Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine in China conducted the study. It was published in the June 2013 issue of Neural Regeneration Research.

Chinese herbal medicines are not the only way to combat dementia. Previous research suggests that supplementation with vitamin B, vitamin D, and drinking coffee all may delay the onset of and/or slow the progression of dementia.

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