Neuroprotection

Dong quai has been found to be effective in treating acute cerebral infarction. In a case series of 1404 patients with acute cerebral infarction, of whom 692 were treated with dong quai injection, 390 with compound salvia and 322 with low-molecular dextran injection, the group treated with dong quai were found to have significantly Dong quai 362

better neurological function and a larger reduction of infarcted area than the other groups (Liu Y-M et al 2004).

Bak Foong Pills, a combination Chinese herbal formula that contains dong quai and other herbs such as Panax ginseng and Glycyrrhiza uralensis, have been found to have a neuroprotective action, suggesting these herbs may have a use in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson's disease (Jia et al 2005, Rui et al 2005). A multi-herbal formula (Guibi-tang) containing dong quai has also been shown to improve learning and memory, and to increase the proliferation of hippocampal cells in rats (Oh et al 2005). An aqueous extract of three herbs, including dong quai, has been found to have a neuroprotective action and improve cognitive function in an animal model of vascular dementia (Lin et al 2005) and a multi-herbal combination (Danggui-Shaoyao-san) has been found to improve memory and modulate monoamine neurotransmitter metabolism suggesting a possible use for treating senile dementia and Alzheimer's disease (Kou et al 2005).

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