Hong Kong researchers develop Chinese medicine new formula for treating Alzheimer's disease

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HONG KONG, Feb. 3 (Xinhua) -- The Hong Kong Baptist University announced on Wednesday that a research team from the School of Chinese Medicine has developed a Chinese medicine formula named NeuroDefend that offers a potential novel treatment for Alzheimer's disease.

Alzheimer's disease is characterized by the "senile plaques" that are formed by the abnormal accumulation of Aβ, and the neurofibrillary tangles associated with the abnormal accumulation of hyperphosphorylated tau-associated neurofibrillary tangles in the brain.

The university's researchers found that Huang-Lian-Jie-Du-Tang (HLJDT), a traditional Chinese herbal formula comprised of Huang Lian, Huang Qin, Huang Bai and Zhi Zi that is used to treat cerebral ischemia, could significantly reduce Aβ levels in mouse models when Huang Qin was removed.

They also found that Yan Hu Suo in Yuan-Hu Zhi Tong (YZT), a Chinese herbal formula used to treat pain and neuralgia, can regulate the aggregation of tau proteins.

Facilitated by data analysis and modeling techniques, the research team combined the six herbal medicines in different ratios to form 24 different formulas. The most promising formula was named NeuroDefend.

The results of pre-clinical mouse model experiments showed that after the mice were given NeuroDefend, their Aβ levels and abnormal tau protein aggregation significantly reduced by 30 percent to 40 percent. The medicine also improved the memory and learning ability of the mice.

"Traditional Chinese medicine adopts a broad pharmacological approach to treating neurodegenerative diseases by deploying a combination of herbal medicines with different treatment effects. NeuroDefend will contribute to the development of novel, effective traditional Chinese medicine for the treatment of AD in humans," Li Min, Professor of the Teaching and Research Division and Associate Dean of the university's School of Chinese Medicine, leader of the team, said.

The research discovery was published in the Journal of Food and Drug Analysis, an international scientific journal. Enditem

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