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Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2010 Jun;31(6):649-64. doi: 10.1038/aps.2010.46.

Retrospect and prospect of active principles from Chinese herbs in the treatment of dementia.

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State Key Laboratory of Drug Research, Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China.


With an ageing population, dementia has become one of the world's primary health challenges. However, existing remedies offer limited benefits with certain side effects, which has prompted researchers to seek complementary and alternative therapies. China has long been known for abundant usage of various herbs. Some of these herbal decoctions are effective in stimulating blood circulation, supplementing vital energy and resisting aging, the lack of which are believed to underlie dementia. These herbs are regarded as new and promising sources of potential anti-dementia drugs. With the rapid evolution of life science and technology, numerous active components have been identified that are highly potent and multi-targeted with low toxicity, and therefore meet the requirements for dementia therapy. This review updates the research progress of Chinese herbs in the treatment of dementia, focusing on their effective principles.

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