Can a Chinese Herb Help Dementia?

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Can a Chinese Herb Help Dementia?

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Posted on: Thursday, 12 June 2003, 06:00 CDT By Amanda Gardner, HealthDay Reporter HealthDayNews — A small study has shown that an herbal compound may improve memory, orientation and language in people who have mild to moderate vascular dementia as the result of a stroke. Gastrodine, an extract from a tall gastrodia tuber, has been used in China for centuries to treat symptoms such as dizziness and headache resulting from hypertension, atherosclerosis or stroke, says study author Dr. Jinzhou Tian. The research was presented June 10 at the American Heart Association’s Second Asia Pacific Scientific Forum in Honolulu. The compound is not likely to be accepted in the West very easily, however. “This study has some serious questions,” says Bill Thies, vice president for medical and scientific affairs for the Alzheimer’s Association. “It’s a relatively small study to begin with, only 120 people.” In China, as in the United States and Europe, vascular dementia is the most common form of dem