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J Pharmacol Sci. 2013;122(4):257-69. Epub 2013 Jul 25.

Kampo formulations, chotosan, and yokukansan, for dementia therapy: existing clinical and preclinical evidence.

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Division of Medicinal Pharmacology, Institute of Natural Medicine, University of Toyama, Japan.


Cognitive deficits and behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) are typical features of patients with dementia such as Alzheimer's disease (AD), vascular dementia (VD), and other forms of senile dementia. Clinical evidence has demonstrated the potential usefulness of chotosan (CTS) and yokukansan (YKS), traditional herbal formulations called Kampo medicines, in the treatment of cognitive disturbance and BPSD in dementia patients, although the indications targeted by CTS and YKS in Kampo medicine differ. The availability of CTS and YKS for treating dementia patients is supported by preclinical studies using animal models of dementia that include cognitive/emotional deficits caused by aging and diabetes, dementia risk factors. These studies have led not only to the concept of a neuronal basis for the CTS- and YKS-induced amelioration of cognitive function and emotional/psychiatric symptom-related behavior in animal models, but also to a proposal that ingredient(s) of Uncariae Uncis cum Ramulus, a medicinal herb included in CTS and YKS, may play an important role in the actions of these formulae in dementia patients. Further studies are needed to clarify the active ingredients of these formulae and their target endogenous molecules implicated in the anti-dementia drug-like actions.

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