The impact of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) on society is one of our biggest global challenges as it adversely affects the quality of life of patients. This irreversible disease also poses tremendous physical, emotional, and financial burdens to their family, the community medical system, and the entire social economy.
The US Food and Drug Administration has approved a few prescription drugs (i.e. Aricept® (donepezil), Exelon® (rivastigmine), Razadyne® (galantamine) and Namenda® (memantine)) for the treatment of AD. These prescription drugs can help reduce or delay some symptoms, but not cure AD.
The possible side effects of these drugs range from mild symptoms that include nausea, vomiting, headache, diarrhoea, loss of appetite, to severe symptoms that include slow heartbeat, heart block, gastrointestinal bleeding and ulcers. As stated in the 2012 Consumer Reports, the monthly medication cost of these prescription drugs is around US$200 to US$400 per AD patient.
In light of this, we have invented a patented formulation by modifying the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) formulation, Huang-Lian-Jie-Du-Tang (HLJDT, 黃連解毒湯).
Our research findings prove that the modified HLJDT (HLJDT-M) can reduce the accumulation of protein plaques and fibrous nodules (i.e. amyloid β-peptide (Aβ) and tau aggregates) in the brain that leads to rapid death of neurons and deterioration of brain function. HLJDT-M has given more significant therapeutic and pharmacological effects in treating AD with low cost and extremely low side effects.
As a pioneer in the modified HLJDT formula (HLJDT-M) study, our research findings offer convincing pieces of evidence that this patented formulation is an effective, safe, and low-cost option for AD treatment and improvement of memory disorders in AD patients.
HLJDT is a famous traditional Chinese Medicine formula, which consists of four herbs, i.e. Rhizoma Coptidis (RC, 黃連), Radix Scutellariae (RS, 黃芩), Cortex Phellodendri (CP, 黃柏) and Fructus Gardeniae (FG, 梔子). It is widely used in treating stroke, senile dementia, inflammation, digestive system upsets, and cerebrovascular disease.
HLJDT-M comprises RC, CP, and FG but excludes RS. It is safe for human intake as the original HLJDT has long been used by medical professionals in China and Japan.
In our studies, HLJDT-M treatment at a concentration of 12.5 μg/mL could have significant therapeutic effects without biotoxicity. When compared with the original HLJDT, the HLJDT-M has a far more significant Aβ-reducing effect. In addition, HLJDT-M promotes the degradation of Aβ and tau aggregates in both laboratory and animal experiments.
Currently, there is no cure for AD and none of the medications have been shown to be more effective than the others. We suggested a pharmacological treatment that addresses the key causer (i.e. Aβ) in the pathogenesis of AD. HLJDT-M has fewer side effects than conventional drugs and can be regarded as a promising herbal formulation to prevent and/or cure AD.
HLJDT-M is a TCM recipe that could be a dietary therapy for AD. It is suitable for most people as it has low side effects.
The cost of HLJDT is about US$50 per 200g. For an effective treatment, it is suggested to have HLJDT-M be orally administered at 15-35 mg/kg/day for at least three months, it indicates that the daily cost is less than US$1. Thus, it is cheaper than the current prescription drugs approved by the FDA.
With an affordable price of less than US$1 per day, HLJDT-M can be taken as a health supplement or a non-prescription medicine for the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases like AD.
Through the investigation of molecular interactions, we hope to extract several major monomers in the formulation and create a new drug with molecular size for the treatment of AD.
HLJDT-M is an effective, safe, and low-cost option that could give hope to patients with AD. It also helps prevent and delay the onset of AD. This herbal formula is cheaper than the current prescription drugs as approved by the FDA. With extremely low side effects, it provides a safer and cheaper alternative option for the treatment of AD.