Herbal agent to cure memory loss
Hi, my grand mother is a 67-year-old woman who reports forgetting little things: she sometimes forgets to feed her dogs, she’s been late with paying some bills, and she can never seem to find her keys. She inquires about a natural product to boost her memory. She takes aspirin 81 mg daily, metoprolol 25 mg twice daily, lisinopril 20 mg daily, and atorvastatin 40 mg daily for hypertension and dyslipidemia. She has no known allergies. Is there any herbal agents for memory enhancement?
@Sneha Natural medicines that may improve memory include huperzine, ginkgo, lecithin, choline, and dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE). Memory loss—specifically that associated with Alzheimer’s disease—is thought to be related to deficiency in acetylcholine (ACh), and many of these agents are thought to increase levels of ACh in the central nervous system. Specifically, huperzine, an alkaloid from Chinese club moss, is thought to increase levels of ACh in the brain by inhibiting the enzyme acetylcholinesterase. Clinical trials of huperzine have generally included small sample sizes and been of short duration; little is known about its long-term safety and efficacy. Further, huperzine is considered to have a side-effect profile similar to the prescription-only ACh inhibitors, including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, cramps, and increased urination frequency. In addition, increased cholinergic toxicity could occur if this agent were used in combination with a prescription ACh inhibitor. Among other agents increasing or mimicking increased ACh levels, acetyl-L-carnitine is the most promising memory booster, particularly when used in patients younger than 66 years with an early onset and rapidly progressing disease. Finally, ginkgo has been long theorized to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that may reduce inflammation and improve cerebral circulation; study results, however, have been inconsistent. In the case of your grand mother, physician referral in lieu of an herbal remedy is likely the best option; ginkgo may interact with her aspirin therapy and increase her risk of bleeding.