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Many middle-aged and older individuals have a strong desire to proactively safeguard against dementia, especially if Alzheimer’s disease runs in their family. A recent study conducted in Australia has unveiled a potential breakthrough in this endeavor: a medication derived from an innovative herbal extract. This research offers hope for maintaining optimal cognitive function throughout one’s lifetime.

Scientists make breakthrough in MCI treatment

Researchers at the Western Sydney University’s NICM Health Research Institute conducted the first clinical trial on sailuotong (SLT), suggesting that their results could offer a novel treatment approach for older individuals dealing with mild cognitive impairment (MCI).

MCI is a cognitive condition that surpasses normal aging but doesn’t significantly disrupt daily life. It is often considered a precursor to more severe conditions like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. The concerning aspect is that medications for Alzheimer’s are ineffective for MCI patients, limiting their treatment options.

In the study, participants receiving SLT showed significant enhancements in executive function and memory relative to those receiving a placebo. These improvements encompassed better memory recall, increased attention, and improved multitasking ability.

SLT helps individuals with MCI and vascular dementia

SLT, or Sailuotong, is a herbal blend consisting of Panax ginseng, Ginkgo biloba, and Crocus sativus, explored for its potential benefits in conditions like vascular dementia and cerebrovascular insufficiency-related ailments.

This herbal blend is thought to possess diverse qualities, such as anti-inflammatory and antioxidant abilities, which may help address MCI. Prior research has demonstrated its safety and potential cognitive advantages not only for MCI but also for vascular dementia and even in individuals without cognitive impairments.

Genevieve Steiner-Lim, an NHMRC Emerging Leadership Fellow at NICM Health Research Institute, led a promising project on the potential of SLT as a treatment for MCI. MCI can lead to dementia, and currently, there are no approved medications for it. Steiner-Lim’s study, which lasted just 12 weeks, demonstrated that SLT can improve memory and thinking in MCI patients and is well-tolerated. This discovery offers hope for those with MCI, who are at an increased risk of dementia.