Dementia and/or Memory Loss: CAM Therapies
for Specific Conditions
- Patients treated with Qi Gong exercise showed improvement in memory.
- A 1993 randomized clinical trial (RCT) of
Alzheimer's patients indicated that music therapy enhanced memory of past events and
- Many modern pharmaceuticals have been
derived from traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) herbs. Huperzine A, for example, derived from
the herb Huperzia serrata, is used to treat senile dementia.
- Commission E in Germany has approved the
herb Ginkgo biloba for treatment of dementia-related memory deficits.
- In a twelve-week randomized clinical
trial (RCT), Ginsana produced
improvements in general physical condition, concentration, memory, and sleep,
in sixty subjects aged twenty-two to eighty.
- Some forty neurological disorders are
classified in traditional Indian Ayurvedic medicine as vata disorders. The herb Centella asiatica is valued as a memory enhancer. In the
treatment of dementia, Ayurveda uses a number of herbal compounds as memory
Caution: Ginkgo, an herb, can
affect blood clotting if blood thinners (such as the drug Coumadin or warfarin)
are also used. If you are taking such medications, talk with your doctor. If
you have migraine headaches, ginkgo might increase their frequency. If you have
any condition that diminishes your ability to absorb nutrients, you should
discuss vitamin B6 supplementation with your doctor. Gingko can induce
decreased platelet activity, bleeding, cross-allergenicity with poison ivy; can
cause cheilitis and gastrointestinal irritation. Do not use while pregnant or
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BEST ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: WHAT WORKS? WHAT DOES NOT? by Dr. Kenneth R.
Copyright © 2000 by Dr. Kenneth R. Pelletier,
Reprinted by permission of Simon &
Schuster, Inc., New York, New York.
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