Melissa officinalis Extract Benefits Patients With Mild-to-Moderate Alzheimer's Disease
Tuesday, July 8th 2003
Melissa officinalis (lemon balm) extract may have value in the management of patients with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease, according to a report in the July Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry.
Like other drugs used in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease, M. officinalis has acetylcholine receptor activity in the central nervous system, the authors explain, with both nicotinic and muscarinic binding properties.
Dr. Shahin Akhondzadeh from Tehran University of Medical Sciences in Iran and associates investigated the safety and effectiveness of M. officinalis, compared with placebo, given over a four-month period to 42 patients with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease.
M. officinalis treatment brought significant improvements in cognitive scores on the Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale (ADAS), the authors report, whereas placebo use was associated with a significant deterioration in such scores.
Similarly, Clinical Dementia Rating scores improved with M. officinalis treatment and worsened with placebo.
The frequency of side effects did not differ between the treatment and placebo groups, the researchers note, but agitation proved less common among patients receiving M. officinalis.
"Preclinical studies [of both M. officinalis and Salvia officinalis (sage)] showed that their mechanism and potency are similar to FDA-approved medications [for Alzheimer's disease]," Dr. Akhondzadeh told Reuters Health.
The group's recent studies also showed that the extract of these herbs, in particular Melissa officinalis, "is as effective as FDA-approved drugs in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease," Dr. Akhondzadeh asserted. Moreover, M. officinalis has the advantage of decreasing agitation.
"As these herbs are safe and have been used for many centuries as carminatives, sedatives, and anxiolytics, and in consideration of recent studies, [they should be considered] in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease," Dr. Akhondzadeh concluded.
By Will Boggs, MD
J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2003;74:863-866
Footnote from Ideal Health:
The following products contain Lemon Balm or are useful for Alzheimers:
Calm Restore Herbal Drops
Defense Herbal Drops
Lemon Balm Tea Bags
Fish Oil 1500mg - Odourless
Efalex Active Adult
Hi Strength Liquid Fish Oil
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