Scientists in India and the UK are looking into the India's ancient system of medicine; Ayurveda in search of a cure for Alzheimer's disease.
According to researchers, Ayurveda boosts mental alertness in the same manner as the conventional drugs. An improvement in memory and concentration was noted in Alzheimer's patients with the help of plants used in Ayurveda.
5 plants frequently used in ayurvedic medicine were studied by scientists from King's College, London, and Jadavpur University in Kolkata. Brahmi, one of those plants was found to act in preventing the collapse of neurotransmitters and helped improving memory and concentration in Alzheimer's patients, the most common form of dementia.
In order to develop more effective drugs, the researchers are now involved in identifying the chemical compounds responsible for the action.
"However, it is too early to say that we have found a solution to Alzheimer's. That would be too tall a claim," said JU executive council member Partha Pratim Biswas.
"We are just trying and all we can say is we are on the right track," he said.
"There is a lot of difference between lab experiments and actual human applications. Only when we are able to reach the second stage can we claim we have reached somewhere. Also, we will have to consider the alternative manufacturing aspects," Biswas added.
The pharmacy department of Jadavpur University is doing research on drugs not only for Alzheimer's but also diseases such as AIDS, cancer. Pulak Mukhopadhyay is one of the faculty members working on these medicinal plants. He is the one who introduced aloe vera ointments and drinks to treat skin problems.