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Indian plants may help Alzheimer's patients

5th September 2006

A traditional Indian medicine may be able to help suffers of Alzheimer's disease, claim researchers.

Scientists from King's College London and Jadavpur University in India have delivered a paper to the British Pharmaceutical Conference in Manchester claiming that plants traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine could improve the concentration and memory of patients with mild to moderate forms of the disease.

The researchers discovered that a number of plants contained similar substances to those found in a group of drugs called acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitors, which have been commonly used to improve the condition of Alzheimer's sufferers.

The plants are often used in Ayurvedic medicine to slow mental decline in elderly people.

"The activities displayed in these five plants are similar to those shown by other plants with a pharmacological use in cognitive decline," commented head of the investigation, Professor Peter Houghton.

Further investigations are set to take place to ascertain the particular qualities of the plants.