Tony Christie reveals dementia diagnosis
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Alzheimer’s disease is a common type of dementia that triggers a gradual decline in intellectual function. It is among the world’s most impactful diseases, destroying the lives of both victims and their loved ones. Although the precise cause of the disease is unknown, researchers have unearthed a number of clues to help treat symptoms. In China, certain herbs have been approved as a drug for the treatment of dementia without unpleasant side effects.
There are currently several FDA-approved drugs for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, but the two most commonly used are donepezil and tacrine.
Both drugs work by blocking the action of an enzyme that breaks down acetylcholine (AChE), a neurotransmitter involved in learning and memory.
By increasing levels of this brain chemical, the medications are able to improve cognitive function in some people suffering from cognitive decline.
However, the side effects of these drugs, such as vomiting, nausea and diarrhoea, have limited their safe use by the wider population.
The key mechanism of these drugs, which is the inhibition of acetylcholinesterase, has a crucial role in neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s disease.
One herbal remedy that has proven effective in achieving this is the Chinese herb Qiang ceng ta.
According to Science Direct, the plant – also known as Huperzine A – has been in use for over 1,000 years for the treatment of several conditions.
Neuroscientists have proved that with Huperzine A, the inhibition activity of AChE is more effective than certain drugs.
As a result, the drug is officially used as a “memory-enhancing dietary supplement in the United States,” adds Science Direct.
Prescriptions for Nutritional Healing explains: “The Chinese herb qian ceng ta increases memory retention. This is the same herb that is the source of Huperzine A, and it is also known as club moss.
“Pure and standardised extracts of this herb have been shown to increase clearheadedness, language, and more in a significant percentage of subjects with Alzheimer’s disease.
“It is a potent blocker of acetylcholinesterase, an enzyme that regulates the activity of acetylcholine, which is an important chemical of the brain that maintains healthy learning and memory functions.”
According to WebMD, the herb has become a common antidote not only for Alzheimer’s but also for other diseases that hinder mental function.
In traditional Chinese medicine, for example, Huperzine A has proven useful in the treatment of several mental conditions spurred by inflammation.
The plant was identified in the 1980s by scientists at the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
They found that the potent chemical Huperzine A comes specifically from two species; Chinese club moss (Huperzia Serrata) and fir club moss (Huperzia Selago) plants.
It was then discovered that taking the herb by mouth for up to six months could improve memory and thinking skills in patients suffering from cognitive decline.
Though it may improve symptoms, there is limited proof that it can stave off the disease.
Other important considerations to prevent the onset of cognitive decline include using the brain as much as possible to remain cognitively sharp.
Keeping socially acting, writing and reading are all simple ways to prevent a decline in cognitive abilities.
Though an early diagnosis will not prevent the disease from advancing either, it will broaden the opportunity for patients to make an informed decision about future treatment.
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