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Commentary

Herbal therapy: a new pathway for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease

Jinzhou Tian12*, Jing Shi1, Xuekai Zhang13 and Yongyan Wang4

Author Affiliations

1 BUCM Neurology Centre, Dongzhimen Hospital, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing 100700, China

2 Department of Preclinical Medicine, Hubei University of Chinese Medicine, Wuhan 430065, China

3 Clinical Neuroscience Research Group, The University of Manchester, Hope Hospital, Stott Lane, Salford, Manchester M6 8HD, UK

4 Institute of Clinical Medicine, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing 100700, China

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Alzheimer's Research & Therapy 2010, 2:30  doi:10.1186/alzrt54

Published: 22 October 2010

Abstract

It has been a clinical challenge to treat Alzheimer's disease (AD). In the present commentary we discuss whether herbal therapy could be a novel treatment method for AD on the basis of results from clinical trials, and discuss the implications for potential therapy for AD pathophysiology. There is evidence to suggest that single herbs or herbal formulations may offer certain complementary cognitive benefits to the approved drugs. The current evidence supporting their use alone, however, is inconclusive or inadequate owing to many methodological limitations. Herbal mixtures may have advantages with multiple target regulation compared with the single-target antagonist in the view of traditional Chinese medicine. Several clinical trials using herbal mixtures are being conducted in China and will hopefully show promising results for treating AD in the near future.