The progressive brain disease which is estimated to affect 1 in 85 people globally by 2050, might have a ray of hope from India’s native system of medicine – Ayurveda. Most medicines that are currently used for Alzheimer’s are synthetic and have side effects. With Ayurveda, the condition might show better prognosis of arresting the condition if not curing it using natural herbs.
NBRC Neuroscientist Vijayalakshmi Ravindranath used an extract of the Ashwagandha root on genetically modified mice with Alzheimer’s disease and found that they could reverse memory loss. Two sets of mice of different ages were given oral doses of the extract for 30 days and monitored. Scientists found a reduction of amyloid plaques in their brains and improvement in the animal’s cognitive abilities. You could access their published study here.
The way Ashwagandha worked in this case is very unique. The extract did not work directly on the brain. Instead it enhanced a protein in the liver that is thrown out of and acts like a sponge to pull out the amyloid from the brain.
To the many who are affected by this form of dementia, this spells renewed hope. In developed countries, AD is one of the most costly diseases to society, causing social, psychological, physical, and economic pressures to the patient and also to their caregivers.