Preliminary animal studies have suggested possible neuroprotective effects in transient middle cerebral artery occlusion in Sprague-Dawley rats. Infarct volume was reduced by 36.6% by inhibiting inflammation and microglial activation in brain ischaemia after intraperitoneal injection of a water extract of Siberian ginseng (Bu et al 2005). Similarly, intraperitoneal injection of Siberian ginseng was found to relieve damage to neurons following hippocampal ischaemia hypoxia and improve the learning and memory of rats with experimentally induced vascular dementia (Ge et al 2004). The saponins present in Siberian ginseng have also been shown to protect > 2007 Elsevier Australia

against cortical neuron injury induced by anoxia/ reoxygenation by inhibiting the release of NO and neuron apoptosis in vitro (Chen et al 2004).

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