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University of Western Sydney herbal remedy trial for vascular dementia enters final clinic trial stage

A CLINICAL trial using herbal medicine to treat dementia and Alzheimer’s has entered its final phase and eligible participants are being sought.

Researchers from the National Institute of Complementary Medicine at the University of Western Sydney have spent 10 years developing a herbal remedy with the goal of improving the memory and cognitive function for hundreds of thousands of Australians who have vascular dementia or vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s.

The institute is recruiting 236 patients for the last phase of the $3 million three-phase study, to be conducted at six hospitals in NSW.

Associate Professor Dennis Chang, who is co-ordinating the trial at Bankstown-Lidcombe Hospital, said his team was hopeful the remedy would slow down the progress of vascular dementia, which has no approved treatment or cure, and improve a sufferer’s quality of life.

“There is a lot of burden placed on patients, carers and the community as a whole,” Prof Chang said.

“I guess any intervention which can relieve that burden will be very useful, especially since we haven’t got any viable pharmaceutical option of vascular dementia so we hope to fill in this gap.”

Sailuotong is a pill made up of a complex combination of ginkgo, ginseng and saffron.

Prof Chang said unlike traditional over the counter medicine, there was significant scientific evidence to support using Sailuotong.

To be eligible for the trial applicants need to be at least 40 years old, be diagnosed with vascular dementia or Alzheimer’s disease and cerebrovascular disease and must not be taking pharmaceutical medications for the treatment of dementia.

Participants will be closely monitored throughout the trial. Recruiting will take two years and treatment another 12 months.

The study is a joint project with Xiyuan Hospital and the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences in Beijing.

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This article was written by James Taylor and published in the Canterbury-Bankstown Express, September 20, 2016. Photo by Rob Pozo.

Read the full article via Daily Telegraph’s News Local here.

Western Sydney University and SWSLHD‘s Bankstown-Lidcombe Hospital are members of South West Sydney Research. Visit our Clinical Trials pages to learn more about Clinical Trial research in South West Sydney.