The efficacy and safety of a Chinese herbal formulation that aims to reduce certain symptoms of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) was recently tested with promising results. This study focused on treating the most common sub-type of MCI called amnestic MCI (aMCI). It is characterized by the impairment of episodic memory without the impairment of activities of daily living (ADL). This stage of cognitive impairment is found at the onset of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Scientists believe that treating aMCI may prevent or delay the onset of AD.
Three hundred and twenty four patients, ranging in age from 55 to 80, from nine memory clinics in China were recruited for the tests. They had normal general cognition with minimal or no impairments in ADL, but they had complained previously of abnormal memory function.
The patients were first given placebos for the first two weeks of the study. They then had MRI scan and were randomly assigned to receive for 24 weeks either an herbal capsule (five capsules three times per day) and a placebo that was identical to donepezil tablets, or 5 mg per day of donepezil and a placebo that was identical to the herbal capsules.
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Tian J, Shi J, Li T, Li L, Wang Z, Li X, Lv Z, Zheng Q, Wei M, Wang Y. EFFICACY AND SAFETY OF AN HERBAL THERAPY IN PATIENTS WITH AMNESTIC MILD COGNITIVE IMPAIRMENT: A 24-WEEK RANDOMIZED PHASE III TRIAL. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 17 May 2017;2017:1–9. DOI: 10.1155/2017/4251747