Neuroprotective Effects of Cistanches Herba Therapy on Patients with Moderate Alzheimer's Disease

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Cistanches Herba (CH) is thought to be a "Yang-invigorating" material in traditional Chinese medicine. We evaluated neuroprotective effects of Cistanches Herba on Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients. Moderate AD participants were divided into 3 groups: Cistanches Herba capsule (CH, n = 10), Donepezil tablet (DON, n = 8), and control group without treatment n = 6. We assessed efficacy by MMSE and ADAS-cog, and investigated the volume changes of hippocampus by 1.5 T MRI scans. Protein, mRNA levels, and secretions of total-tau (T-tau), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), and interleukin- (IL) 1β (IL-1β) in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) were detected by Western blot, RT-PCR, and ELISA. The scores showed statistical difference after 48 weeks of treatment compared to control group. Meanwhile, volume changes of hippocampus were slight in drug treatment groups but distinct in control group; the levels of T-tau, TNF-α, and IL-1β were decreased compared to those in control group. Cistanches Herba could improve cognitive and independent living ability of moderate AD patients, slow down volume changes of hippocampus, and reduce the levels of T-tau, TNF-α, and IL-1β. It suggested that Cistanches Herba had potential neuroprotective effects for moderate AD.




Li, N., Wang, J., Ma, J., Gu, Z., Jiang, C., Yu, L., & Fu, X. (2015). Neuroprotective Effects of Cistanches Herba Therapy on Patients with Moderate Alzheimer’s Disease. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2015.

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