People with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) can’t look to conventional medicine for help as there’s no approved intervention doctors can offer. So, what can people do in this situation?
In these pages we’ve mentioned many natural ways to support brain health, from dietary changes and nutritional supplements to exercise routines and relaxation techniques, computer games and more. Now you can add another natural remedy to the list, thanks to a world-first clinical trial.
It’s a remedy that combines three traditional Chinese herbal medicines. It’s called SaiLuoTong.
Mild cognitive impairment is a condition in which people can still perform most activities of daily living but notice they’re either getting forgetful or else their judgment, visual perception, and ability to complete tasks is impaired.
Since MCI increases the risk of dementia by more than five-fold, it’s vital to tackle the condition as early as possible.
One group working to uncover a solution to MCI is Western Sydney University’s NICM Health Research Institute, a world leader in integrative and complementary medicine research. The Australian group teamed up with scientists in China some time ago to see if they could come up with an effective treatment for MCI.
They devised a formula called SaiLuoTong (SLT) which combined standardized extracts of three Chinese medical herbs, Panax ginseng (81.8 mg), Ginkgo biloba (81.8 mg), and Crocus sativus L or saffron (16.4 mg).
Improves Memory and Executive Function
The team performed lab studies of SaiLuoTong that proved extremely promising, as were a few human studies in people with MCI.
The next study the team undertook was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled investigation that included 78 participants aged 60 and older who were diagnosed with MCI. Half took 180 mg/day of SLT for three months while the other half took a placebo. The dose of SLT was split into 4 × 45 mg capsules per day, with two each morning and night.
At the beginning and the end of the study the researchers gave the participants a battery of tests to measure brain function.
The key findings included:
- Improved memory: The difference between the SLT group and placebo group was statistically significant. The SLT group scored 40 percent better in Logical Memory delayed recall scores. This is the ability to remember a short orally-presented story. Next, the team found a 37 percent improvement in the SLT group over the placebo group in Verbal Learning Test delayed recall – a word learning test.
- Enhanced executive function: SLT treatment improved performance in two executive function tasks resulting in a difference of 42 percent and 56 percent compared to placebo. Executive tasks include planning, exercising self-control, following directions, staying focused and multi-tasking.
- Safe to take: SLT was well-tolerated, with a low incidence of mild or moderate adverse events which included an upset stomach and nausea.
These results confirmed the promising findings from prior lab research. As the authors of the study wrote in their paper, published in the journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia in October:
“SLT has demonstrated…anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiapoptotic [inhibits brain cell death], antiplatelet aggregating, anti-depressant, anxiolytic, as well as enhancing cholinergic [brain cell communication] function, reducing amyloid beta, and increasing cerebral blood flow. Studies in humans have demonstrated that SLT is safe, while improving cognitive function and activities of daily living in vascular dementia and modulating neurocognition in healthy young adults.”
Supports Thinking and Memory
First author Associate Professor Genevieve Steiner-Lim is optimistic about SLT’s potential:
“Our findings are very promising as they show that even after a relatively short treatment period of just 12-weeks, SLT can support important aspects of memory and thinking.
“The next step is to conduct another trial with a larger sample size and longer treatment period to test whether SLT can be used to treat mild cognitive impairment and potentially delay a diagnosis of dementia.”
SLT is not yet widely available, but the Chinese herbs used in the formula are. You can find supplements of Panax ginseng (81.8 mg), Ginkgo biloba (81.8 mg), and Crocus sativus L or saffron (16.4 mg) online and in natural product stores.
The Awakening From Alzheimer’s Team
https: //alz-journals. onlinelibrary. wiley. com/doi/full/10.1002/trc2.12420