The National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI) in India has revealed that it has invented an herbal tonic to treat Alzheimer’s disease, which gradually develops into memory loss among the elderly.
Motivated by the satisfactory results derived on testing the herbal formulation on rats, the institute has filed for a US patent.
“The herbal formulation will function as a memory enhancer in treating Alzheimer‘s,” said C.V. Rao, a pharmacology scientist, his team doing research at the NBRI.
The lead of the study, Yogendra Kumar Gupta, said that the tonic mainly consists of alcoholic extracts of several medicinal plants. A series of plants with medicinal value, such as the Tinospora Cordifolia (guduchi), Withania Somnifera (Winter Cherry), Centella Asiatica (Indian Pennywort), Circuma Longa (turmeric), and Mucuna Pruriens (Velvet Beans) and several others have been used in making the formulation.
Chemical messengers, called neurotransmitters, permit brain cells to communicate with each other. However, in patients with Alzheimer’s, the number of neurotransmitters gets decreased. As a result, patients develop deposits of fibre and protein, or a blood brain barrier, due to which the cells are unable to send the right signals to other parts of the brain.
According to the scientist, unlike the cases of other drugs used in treating brain disorders, the herbal tonic is potent enough to cross the blood brain barrier, and has the ability to activate the transmission of signals from brain to nerve terminals. They act as deposition in the brain, so that normal flow of transmission from the brain can be revived.
The herbal tonic can be used either as an emulsion or as a soft gelatin capsule.
Rao said that studies have indicated that one percent of population in the age group 65 to 74 has severe dementia, and the ratio increases to 7 percent in those falling in the age group 75-84 and nearly 25 percent in those aged 85 years and above.
The tonic is currently undergoing animal testing trials, and would take one more phase before the trials could be carried out in humans, revealed the officials at the institute.