Review: TCM’s Role in Preventing and Treating Senile Dementia


Traditional Chinese Medicine for Senile Dementia


Zhihong Lin, Jie Gu, Jin Xiu, Tingyan Mi, Jie Dong, and Jyoti Kumar Tiwari



Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has a 3000 years’ history of human use. A literature survey addressing traditional evidence from human studies was done, with key result that top 10 TCM herb ingredients including Poria cocos, Radix polygalae, Radix glycyrrhizae, Radix angelica sinensis, and Radix rehmanniae were prioritized for highest potential benefit to dementia intervention, related to the highest frequency of use in 236 formulae collected from 29 ancient Pharmacopoeias, ancient formula books, or historical archives on ancient renowned TCM doctors, over the past 10 centuries. Based on the history of use, there was strong clinical support that Radix polygalae is memory improving. Pharmacological investigation also indicated that all the five ingredients mentioned above can elicit memory-improving effects in vivo and in vitro via multiple mechanisms of action, covering estrogenlike, cholinergic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiapoptotic, neurogenetic, and anti-Aβ activities. Furthermore, 11 active principles were identified, including sinapic acid, tenuifolin, isoliquiritigenin, liquiritigenin, glabridin, ferulic acid, Z-ligustilide, N-methyl-beta-carboline-3-carboxamide, coniferyl ferulate and 11-angeloylsenkyunolide F, and catalpol. It can be concluded that TCM has a potential for complementary and alternative role in treating senile dementia. The scientific evidence is being continuously mined to back up the traditional medical wisdom.


Copyright © 2012 Zhihong Lin et al. This is an open access article distributed under the

Creative Commons Attribution License

1.              Introduction

2.              Ancient Records on TCM for Cognitive Decline

1.           Etiology and Pathogenesis

2.           Therapy of TCM

3.              Evidence-Based Efficacy of TCM Herbs on

1.           Poria cocos

2.           Radix polygalae

3.           Radix et Rhizoma Glycyrrhizae

4.           Radix Angelica sinensis

5.           Radix rehmanniae

4.              Discussion and Conclusion

5.              References


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