(Natural News) Chebulic myrobalan (Terminalia chebula) – a traditional herbal medicine used across Asia – can potentially be used as a natural, alternative treatment for amnesia, according to a study published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Researchers in Korea looked at the effects and mechanisms of chebulic myrobalan extract against amnesia.
For the study, the team also investigated the potential mechanisms of chebulic myrobalan extract to the cholinergic system, including its antioxidant effects. To do this, the team orally administered chebulic myrobalan extract to mice for 14 days. During the second week of treatments, the team injected mice with scopolamine in their abdominal cavities to induce memory impairment.
Researchers then measured the learning and memory function of mice. They also evaluated the levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS), nitric oxide (NO), malondialdehyde (MDA), acetylcholine (ACh), acetylcholinesterase (AchE), and choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) in the hippocampus.
Based on the results, the chebulic myrobalan extracts helped prevent learning and memory deficits, in particular, in acquisition and retention, caused by scopolamine. The treatment decreased AchE and raised ChAT expression, which in turn, increased ACh levels in hippocampal tissue of scopolamine-induced mice. Moreover, chebulic myrobalan extract caused reductions in ROS, NO, and MDA levels in the hippocampus, thus preventing oxidative damage.
The findings of the study suggested that chebulic myrobalan extract possesses powerful inhibitory effects against amnesia through its modulations of the cholinergic system and antioxidant activities. Thus, the researchers concluded that chebulic myrobalan extract has the potential to be used as a natural, alternative treatment for amnesia.
Fast facts on amnesia
The term amnesia refers to a form of memory loss which occurs when a person cannot memorize or recall previously stored information. The condition is different from forgetting since it triggers a large-scale loss of memories, including important milestones in life, memorable events, significant people, and vital facts that have been told or taught. It is also different from dementia, which includes memory loss and other critical cognitive problems that may affect the patient’s ability to perform daily tasks.
People who experience the following symptoms may have amnesia:
- Impaired ability to learn new information (anterograde amnesia)
- Impaired ability to recall past events and previously familiar information (retrograde amnesia)
- False memories that may be wholly invented or may consist of real memories misplaced in time, a phenomenon known as confabulation
- Uncoordinated movements and tremors indicating neurological problems
- Confusion of disorientation
- Problems with short-term memory, partial or total loss of memory
- Failure to recognize faces or location
Diseases or injury affecting the brain can affect memory function as it engages various parts of the brain simultaneously. Damage to brain structures that form the limbic system, such as the hippocampus and thalamus, can result in amnesia, as the limbic system is responsible for emotions and memories. Some of the possible causes of amnesia resulting from brain injury or damage include the following:
- Celiac disease
- Certain drugs like fentanyl or Ambien
- Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)
- Head injuries
- Oxygen deprivation due to a heart attack, respiratory distress, or carbon monoxide poisoning
- Seizure disorders
- Subarachnoid hemorrhage
Amnesia, particularly dissociative amnesia, can also be a result of an emotional shock, such as:
- A natural disaster
- A terrorist activities
- A violent crime
- Military combat
- Sexual or other abuse
Most cases of amnesia do not require treatments as it usually resolves itself on its own. Treatment may be necessary if an underlying physical or mental disorder is present. Some procedures involve psychotherapy and techniques and strategies that help compensate for the memory problem.
Read more news stories and studies on natural treatments for memory loss by going to Brain.news.