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Neuro Plus       

CLINICAL APPLICATIONS

* Alzheimer’s disease or dementia with decreased mental and cognitive functions 

* Sequelae of stroke with poor speech, muscle paralysis, urinary and bowel incontinence, and constipation

* Neurodegenerative disorders with compromised mental functions: forgetfulness, poor memory, difficulty concentrating, reduced comprehension, and possibly increased anxiety 

* Neurodegenerative disorders with compromised physical functions: slurred speech, muscle rigidity, poor balance, difficulty walking, involuntary salivation, frequent urination, constipation, difficulty swallowing, or visual problems

* Parkinson’s disease with compromised mental and physical functions

* Multiple sclerosis (MS)

 

WESTERN THERAPEUTIC ACTIONS

* Neuroprotective benefit to improve mental and physical functions

* Cognitive effect to improve and restore brain functions

* Circulatory effect to promote microcirculation and increase blood perfusion

 

CHINESE THERAPEUTIC ACTIONS

* Tonifies the Kidney yin, yang and jing (essence)

* Regulates qi and blood circulation and removes blood stagnation

* Opens the sensory orifices to promote awareness and alertness

 

DOSAGE

Take 2 to 3 capsules three times daily on an empty stomach with warm water during the first week of herbal treatment. After the first week, increase the dosage to 4 capsules three times daily. Neuro Plus should be taken continuously for at least one to two months prior to making an evaluation and prognosis.

 

INGREDIENTS

Ba Ji Tian (Radix Morindae Officinalis)

Bai Zhi (Radix Angelicae Dahuricae)

Bai Zhu (Rhizoma Atractylodis Macrocephalae)

Dan Shen (Radix et Rhizoma Salviae Miltiorrhizae)

Di Huang (Radix Rehmanniae)

Dong Chong Xia Cao (Cordyceps)

Du Zhong (Cortex Eucommiae)

Fen Bi Xie (Rhizoma Dioscoreae Hypoglaucae)

Fu Ling (Poria)

Gou Qi Zi (Fructus Lycii)

Gui Ban (Plastrum Testudinis)

Hong Hua (Flos Carthami)

Huang Qi (Radix Astragali)

Lu Jiao Shuang (Cornu Cervi Degelatinatum)

Meng Chong (Tabanus)

Qian Ceng Ta (Herba Lycopodii Serrati)

Ren Shen (Radix et Rhizoma Ginseng)

San Qi (Radix et Rhizoma Notoginseng)

Shan Yao (Rhizoma Dioscoreae)

Shan Zha (Fructus Crataegi)

Shan Zhu Yu (Fructus Corni)

Shi Chang Pu (Rhizoma Acori Tatarinowii)

Shu Di Huang (Radix Rehmanniae Praeparata)

Shui Zhi (Hirudo)

Tian Ma (Rhizoma Gastrodiae)

Tu Si Zi (Semen Cuscutae)

Wu Gong (Scolopendra)

Xi Yang Shen (Radix Panacis Quinquefolii)

Yi Zhi (Fructus Alpiniae Oxyphyllae)

Yin Xing Ye (Folium Ginkgo)

Yuan Zhi (Radix Polygalae)

Zhi He Shou Wu (Radix Polygoni Multiflori Praeparata)

 


 
BACKGROUND

Neurodegenerative disorders, such as dementia, Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease, are neurologic disorders characterized by compromised mental and physical functions. Signs and symptoms include loss of memory, cognitive deficits, and behavior disorder (slurred speech, muscle rigidity, poor balance, difficulty walking). Causes of neurodegenerative disorders include trauma (i.e., hematoma), metabolic disorder (i.e., hypothyroidism), toxins (i.e., lead), and drugs.

 

FORMULA EXPLANATION

Neurodegenerative disorders are complex and pernicious diseases whose onset is insidious and is followed by progressive deterioration. The clinical manifestations are determined by the location and the seriousness of the disorder. The pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disorders is a mixture of deficient and excess conditions, represented by Kidney jing (essence) deficiency (a deficient condition), or blockage of the brain channel by blood stasis (an excess condition), or both.

        Though it is the brain that shows the symptoms of neurodegenerative disorders, the cause lies in the Kidney. From the point of view of traditional Chinese medicine’s disease differentiation through viscera and their inter-relations, the root of the disease is due to the deficiency of the Kidney and the bone marrow, whereas blood stasis and phlegm accumulation are considered symptoms, not the cause. Therefore, the keys to treat neurodegenerative disorders are to tonify the Kidney, eliminate phlegm, remove blood stasis, restore cognition, and promote perception.

        Dong Chong Xia Cao (Cordyceps), Ba Ji Tian (Radix Morindae Officinalis), Shu Di Huang (Radix Rehmanniae Praeparata), Du Zhong (Cortex Eucommiae), Gou Qi Zi (Fructus Lycii), Zhi He Shou Wu (Radix Polygoni Multiflori Praeparata), Yi Zhi (Fructus Alpiniae Oxyphyllae), Tu Si Zi (Semen Cuscutae), and Shan Zhu Yu (Fructus Corni) are used in this formula to nourish both Kidney yin and yang. Hence, the production of jing (essence) and the marrow are increased. Ren Shen (Radix et Rhizoma Ginseng), Shan Yao (Rhizoma Dioscoreae), Huang Qi (Radix Astragali), Xi Yang Shen (Radix Panacis Quinquefolii), Bai Zhu (Rhizoma Atractylodis Macrocephalae), and Fu Ling (Poria) are used to reinforce the yuan (source) qi, calm the shen (spirit), and increase mental functions. San Qi (Radix et Rhizoma Notoginseng), Shan Zha (Fructus Crataegi), Shui Zhi (Hirudo), Dan Shen (Radix et Rhizoma Salviae Miltiorrhizae), Hong Hua (Flos Carthami), Meng Chong (Tabanus), Tian Ma (Rhizoma Gastrodiae), Di Huang (Radix Rehmanniae) and Wu Gong (Scolopendra) open the channels and collaterals, invigorate blood circulation, and remove blood stasis. Yuan Zhi (Radix Polygalae), Shi Chang Pu (Rhizoma Acori Tatarinowii) and Bai Zhi (Radix Angelicae Dahuricae) are used to open up the sensory orifices, eliminate phlegm, and calm shen (spirit). Gui Ban (Plastrum Testudinis) and Lu Jiao Shuang (Cornu Cervi Degelatinatum) tonify the true yin and yang of the Kidney and generate qi and blood flow. Yin Xing Ye (Folium Ginkgo) and Qian Ceng Ta (Herba Lycopodii Serrati) are used to improve memory functions in patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

        In conclusion, Neuro Plus is a great formula to treat both mental and physical deteriorations associated with neurodegenerative disorders, such as dementia, Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease, and post stroke sequelae.

 

CAUTIONS & CONTRAINDICATIONS

* This formula is contraindicated during pregnancy and nursing.

* Stroke due to hemorrhage should not be treated with this herbal formula until the condition stabilizes.

* A slight increase in blood pressure has been observed in approximately 3 to 5% of patients, due in part to the warm herbs in the formula. Should this happen, reduce the dosage of the herbs. Increase in blood pressure associated with the herbs is self-limiting.

* This herbal formula contains herbs that invigorate blood circulation, such as Dan Shen (Radix et Rhizoma Salviae Miltiorrhizae). Therefore, patients who are on anticoagulant or antiplatelet therapies, such as Coumadin (warfarin), should use this formula with caution, or not at all, as there may be a higher risk of bleeding and bruising.[1]

* According to most textbooks and contemporary references, the classic entry of "He Shou Wu" is now separated into two entries: the unprepared Sheng Shou Wu (Radix Polygoni Multiflori) and the prepared Zhi He Shou Wu (Radix Polygoni Multiflori Praeparata), as they have significantly different therapeutic effects and side effects. Sheng Shou Wu (Radix Polygoni Multiflori) is a stimulant laxative that treats constipation, but may cause nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and in rare cases, liver disorder (dose- and time-dependent, and reversible upon discontinuation).[2] On the other hand, Zhi He Shou Wu (Radix Polygoni Multiflori Praeparata) is a tonic herb that is safe and well-tolerated. The dramatic changes in the therapeutic effect and safety profile are attributed to the long and complicated processing of the root with Hei Dou (Semen Sojae) through repeated blending, cooking, and drying procedures. When properly processed, the chemical composition of the root changes significantly. Many new compounds are generated from the Maillard reaction (four furanones, two furans, two nitrogen compounds, one pyran, one alcohol and one sulfur compound). Furthermore, the preparation process causes changes in the composition of sugars and 16 kinds of amino acids; it also reduces the pH of the herb from 6.28 to 5.61.[3],[4] In summary, these changes give rise to the tonic effects of the prepared roots, and eliminate the adverse reactions associated with the unprepared roots. Note: Due to medical risks and legal liabilities, it is prudent to exercise caution and not use this herb in either prepared or unprepared forms in patients with pre-existing or risk factors of liver diseases.

 

CLINICAL NOTES

* Since neurodegenerative disorders are characterized by the chronic and deteriorating nature of the illness, herbal treatment is considered effective if there is: 1) improvement in the signs and symptoms, or 2) lack of deterioration or stabilization of the overall condition.

* It has been noted by many practitioners that Neuro Plus is effective in treating patients with multiple sclerosis. The general consensus is approximately one out of four patients will have a marked improvement, while the others showed only minimal changes.

* To prevent deterioration of cognitive function, take 1 to 2 capsule of Neuro Plus twice daily.

 

SUPPLEMENTARY FORMULAS

* For post-stroke patients with deviation of the eyes and mouth, add Symmetry.

* To relieve constipation, combine with Gentle Lax (Excess) or Gentle Lax (Deficient).

* To minimize the risk of stroke in patients with hypertension, combine with Gastrodia Complex or Gentiana Complex.

* For cardiovascular disorders, combine with Circulation.

* For severe blood stagnation, add Circulation (SJ).

* For high blood pressure and fast heart rate due to excess fire, add Gardenia Complex.

* For heavy metal poisoning, add Herbal DTX.

* For adrenal insufficiency, add Adrenal +.

* To enhance the effect to strengthen the constitution of the body, add Cordyceps 3.

* For compromised kidney functions, add Kidney DTX.

* With osteoporosis, add Osteo 8.

* With qi and blood deficiencies, add Imperial Tonic .

* With Kidney yang deficiency, add Kidney Tonic (Yang).

* With Kidney yin deficiency, add Kidney Tonic (Yin).

* For general forgetfulness not associated with Alzheimer’s disease, use Enhance Memory instead.

 

ACUPUNCTURE TREATMENT

Traditional Points:

1.       Main Points: Neiguan (PC 6), Renzhong (GV 26), Sanyinjiao (SP 6).

Neiguan (PC 6) nourishes the heart, calms the shen (spirit), and promotes smooth circulation of qi and blood. Renzhong (GV 26) opens up sensory orifices, stimulates the brain and awakens the shen (spirit). The combination of Neiguan (PC 6) and Renzhong (GV 26) has been found to increase the contractile strength of the heart and the cardiac output of blood circulation to the brain. Sanyinjiao (SP 6) is the meeting point of the three yin channels of foot. Sanyinjiao (SP 6) nourishes the Kidney, tonifies the jing (essence) and the marrow to improve the function of the brain.

2.       Local Points: Jiquan (HT 1), Chize (LU 5), Weizhong (BL 40), and Hegu (LI 4) are local points that open up the channels and collaterals and improve the circulation of qi and blood. Jiquan (HT 1), Chize (LU 5), and Hegu (LI 4) are used for paralysis and tremor of the arms and the hands; and Weizhong (BL 40) is used for paralysis of the legs. Fengchi (GB 20), Yifeng (TH 17), Wangu (GB 12) and Tianzhu (BL 10) are four excellent points that help patients who have speech impairment or frequent aspiration of food particles, leading to respiratory infections.

Shanshangdien (upper thunder point) and Xiashangdien (lower thunder point) are two extraordinary points that were discovered through clinical trial and experience. These two acupuncture points are very potent and should be reserved for those patients who have partial to complete paralysis.

Shanshangdien (upper thunder point) is located on the lateral side of the neck, on the same level with Adam's apple, and between the sternal head and clavicular head of m. sternocleidomastoideus. It is three cun posterior to the Adam's apple and one cun posterior-inferior. It is located slightly inferior to Futu (LI 18). Its indications include frozen shoulder, shoulder pain, paralysis of the arm, stiff and rigid muscle of the arm, and tremor of the hand.

Xiashangdien (lower thunder point) is located in the buttock region. Xiashangdien (lower thunder point) is the posterior tip of an equilateral triangle with greater trochanter and the iliac crest as the anterior two points. It is located slightly superior to Huantiao (GB 30). Its indications include pain in the lower back and hip region, muscular atrophy, sciatica, pain, weakness and muscular atrophy of the lower extremities, and hemiplegia.

3.       Needling Technique: Stroke is an excess condition and sedation is warranted. This is because stroke is characterized by the shen (spirit) trapped inside the head with complete or partial closure of the sensory orifices. Therefore, the overall treatment focus should be to open up the sensory orifices, release shen (spirit), and awaken the brain.

To achieve the maximum benefit from acupuncture, the location for some of the acupuncture points and their corresponding needling techniques are slightly different. Neiguan (PC 6) should be needled bilaterally first. Insert the needle 1 to 1.5 cun, then stimulate the point for at least one minute by slightly turning the needle and moving it up and down. The healthy side should be tonified while the diseased side should be sedated.

Next, needle Renzhong (GV 26). Aim slightly upwards toward the top of the head and stimulate strongly until the patient shows tears in his or her eyes. Stimulation should be done with quick rapid movements, a motion similar to a woodpecker drilling trees.

The third point is Sanyinjiao (SP 6). The point of insertion for Sanyinjiao (SP 6) should be moved 0.5 cun toward the dorsal side of the body (or towards Kidney channel) for greater stimulation. Tonify Sanyinjiao (SP 6) by moving the needle up and down until the patient shows a "jerking motion" of the lower leg three times.

Jiquan (HT 1) should be needled with the patient raising his or her arm upward in the air. The point of insertion is moved 0.5 cun toward the fingers and away from the body. Jiquan (HT 1) should be sedated by moving the needle up and down until the patient shows "jerking motion" of the arm three times.

Weizhong (BL 40) may be needled with the patient lying on the back or on the stomach. Point of insertion should be moved 0.5 cun higher toward the buttocks along the Urinary Bladder channel. The needle should be inserted 1 to 1.5 cun deep, and the point should be sedated until the leg shows a "jerking motion" three times.

Hegu (LI 4) should be needled obliquely with the tip of the needle pointing toward Sanjian (LI 3). This point should be sedated until the index finger jerks three times.

Shanshangdien (upper thunder point) should be needled perpendicularly 1 cun deep, and stimulated until there is an "electric sensation" that runs through the entire length of the arm. The needle is then withdrawn at that time. Shanshangdien (upper thunder point) should never be needled downward toward the lung as it may puncture the lung and cause pneumothorax.

Lastly, Xiashangdien (lower thunder point) should be needled perpendicularly 1.5 to 3.0 cun deep, and stimulated until there is an "electric sensation" that runs through the entire length of the leg. The needle is then withdrawn at that time.

For maximum effect, acupuncture treatment should be conducted daily for seven days during the first course of treatment, every other day for 3 weeks for the second course of treatment, and two to three times per week for the next two months of treatment. Three days of resting period is given between each course of treatment. Evaluations are made one month and three months after the initiation of treatment.

 

Classic Master Tung's Points:

* Decreased mental and cognitive functions, forgetfulness: Dizong (T 44.09), Tianhuangfu [Shenguan] (T 77.18), Zhenghui (T 1010.01), Piyi (T 88.35)*, Pier (T 88.36)* 

* Stroke: Linggu (T 22.05), Dabai (T 22.04), Zhongbai (T 22.06), Dizong (T 44.09), Waisanguan (T 77.27), Yizhong (T 77.05), Erzhong (T 77.06), Sanzhong (T 77.07), Sansheng (T 55.07)*, Simashang (T 88.18), Simazhong (T 88.17), Simaxia (T 88.19), Zhenghui (T 1010.01), Qianhui (T 1010.05), Minghuang (T 88.12), Tianhuang (T 88.13), Qihuang (T 88.14), Renhuang (T 77.21), Muhuo (T 11.10), Neitongguan (T 88.29), Neitongshan (T 88.30), Neitongtian (T 88.31), Zhongquan (T 88.21). Bleed du (governing) channel and the back of the knee. Bleed before needling for best result. In emergency cases, bleed Shixuan.

* Sequelae of stroke (incontinence): Minghuang (T 88.12), Tianhuang (T 88.13), Qihuang (T 88.14), Zhenghui (T 1010.01), Tianhuang (T 77.17), Dihuang (T 77.19), Renhuang (T 77.21), Tongshen (T 88.09), Majinshui (T 1010.13), Makuaishui (T 1010.14)

* Sequelae of stroke (tremor): Minghuang (T 88.12), Tianhuang (T 88.13), Qihuang (T 88.14), Zhenghui (T 1010.01), Qianhui (T 1010.05), Houhui (T 1010.06), Houxi (SI 3) to Laogong (PC 8), Gongsun (SP 4) to Yongquan (KI 1), Sanchayi (T 22.15)*, Sanchaer (T 22.16)*, Sanchasan (T 22.17)*, Bafeng, Baxie

* Sequelae of stroke (speech difficulties): Minghuang (T 88.12), Tianhuang (T 88.13), Qihuang (T 88.14), Zhenghui (T 1010.01), Qianhui (T 1010.05), Houhui (T 1010.06), Linggu (T 22.05), Dizong (T 44.09)

 

Master Tung’s Points by Dr. Chuan-Min Wang:

* Alzheimer’s: Shuixiang (T 66.14), Huochuan (T 33.04), Huoling (T 33.05), Huoshan (T 33.06), Zhenghui (T 1010.01), Qianhui (T 1010.05), Zhengben (T 1010.12)

* Parkinson’s: Huochuan (T 33.04), Zhenghui (T 1010.01), Minghuang (T 88.12), Tianhuang (T 88.13), Qihuang (T 88.14), Tianhuangfu [shenguan] (T 77.18), Renzhong (GV 26)

* Post stroke

§ Liver stroke: Minghuang (T 88.12), Tianhuang (T 88.13), Qihuang (T 88.14)

§ Heart stroke: Neitongguan (T 88.29), Neitongshan (T 88.30), Neitongtian (T 88.31)

§ Spleen stroke: Yizhong (T 77.05), Erzhong (T 77.06), Sanzhong (T 77.07)

§ Lung stroke: Linggu (T 22.05), Dabai (T 22.04)

§ Kidney stroke: Tianhuang (T 77.17), Dihuang (T 77.19), Renhuang (T 77.21)

§ Tightness of the limbs: Chongzi (T 22.01), Chongxian (T 22.02)

§ Weakness of the limbs: Dabai (T 22.04), Linggu (T 22.05)

§ Facial muscle paralysis: Zhongjiuli (T 88.25), Qili (T 88.51)*

§ Upper limb paralysis: Jianzhong (T 44.06), Huofuhai (T 33.07), Linggu (T 22.05)

§ Lower limb paralysis: Zhongjiuli (T 88.25), Cesanli (T 77.22), Sihuazhong (T 77.09)

 

Balance Method by Dr. Richard Tan:

* Alzheimer’s disease and dementia:

§ Left side: Yongquan (KI 1), Dazhong (KI 4), Shangyang (LI 1), Hegu (LI 4)

§ Right side: Shaoshang (LU 11), Jingqu (LU 8), Zhiyin (BL 67), Jinggu (BL 64)

§ Left and right sides can be alternated from treatment to treatment.

 

Auricular Medicine by Dr. Li-Chun Huang:

* Invigorating the brain function: Brain, Thalamus, Pituitary, Forehead, Heart, Kidney, Smart, Nervous Subcortex, Groove of Brain Posterior

 
NUTRITION

* Small frequent meals are recommended, instead of a few large meals. Avoid overeating, and stop when approximately 80% fullness is achieved.

* They should lose weight if obese. Cholesterol levels should be reduced if elevated.

* Encourage more "white meat" and less "red meat."

* Consume adequate amounts of vegetables for vitamins A, B1, B2, C and E.

* Avoid fried, smoked or barbecued foods.

* Stop smoking and avoid drinking alcohol.

* Avoid contact and exposure to aluminum, which may be found in antacids, cookware, aluminum foil, and certain foods. Drinking steam-distilled water has a chelating effect in the blood to remove unwanted aluminum from the body.

* Encourage a diet with a diverse source of all nutrients, including raw fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds. B vitamins are important to maintain nerve health.

 

LIFESTYLE INSTRUCTIONS

* Exercise daily and maintain a positive, hopeful outlook toward the future.

* Regular workout and deep breathing exercises are excellent ways to oxygenate the blood and improve circulation to all parts of the body to facilitate recovery.

* When recuperating from a stroke, engage in regular and mild exercises, such as walking and swimming. However, make sure the activities are supervised as the risk of another accident (i.e., slip and fall) is high during the earlier period of recovery.

 

CASE STUDIES

* A.H., a 61-year-old male, presented with foggy, unclear mind, difficulty concentrating on more than one task, poor memory, forgetfulness, decline of comprehension ability. Patient had also suffered from hypothyroidism for 12 years. The TCM diagnosis was Kidney qi deficiency. Neuro Plus was prescribed at 3 capsules twice daily. In two days, the patient showed remarkable improvement. His memory was extremely clear. He was able to recall information without looking at hand-written notes. His energy level increased and he was very alert. Best of all, he was able to multi-task three things at once (something that was totally impossible before). The patient also noticed an increase in libido. The patient had so much energy that his dosage was reduced to 2 capsules twice daily. The medical doctor reported she was very impressed with the results of this amazing formula. Submitted by M.H., West Palm Beach, Florida.

* A 78-year-old female with a past history of stroke presented with memory loss, insomnia, nightmares, and was easily frightened. She frequently woke up in the middle of the night because of her dreams, which disturbed the entire nursing home. Her Western medical diagnosis was dementia. The TCM diagnosis included qi and blood stagnation, Liver and Kidney yin deficiency, and Heart fire. She was given Calm (ES) and Neuro Plus. After taking the herbs for approximately one month, the patient was able to recall the practitioner’s name for the very first time! In addition, her sleep, mood, complexion, and energy level improved greatly. The patient was much calmer and less irritable. Despite the fact that she still did not know the name of her town or the correct month, there were many improvements in all other areas. The practitioner concluded that the combination of Calm (ES) and Neuro Plus has enhanced the patient’s quality of life. Submitted by P.R., Encinitas, California.

* J.D. is an 83-year-old female who had a stroke two years ago. On the first visit, the patient shuffled into the clinic, sat down, and promptly fell asleep. She was unresponsive to questions. Clinical observation showed an extremely deficient and deep pulse. The tongue was pink and slightly dusky with greasy yellow-green tongue coat that was much thicker on her left side. J.D. started taking Neuro Plus daily (4 capsules three times daily) and received acupuncture treatment twice weekly. The points used were Neiguan (PC 6), Sanyinjiao (SP 6), Yinlingquan (SP 9), Hegu (LI 4) and Taichong (LR 3). The patient showed marked improvement. She can lift her feet, smile, and respond somewhat and stay awake throughout the entire treatment. The patient improved rapidly at two treatments per week. Her progress slowed when she had to reduce the treatment to once per week due to financial reasons. However, she continued to improve. Her tongue coat became granular and brownish, changing over the course of treatment to a slightly-thick, more even white, or slightly yellow coat. After four months of treatments she has able to converse more normally. Her friends are happy because she can now talk with them on the phone. Treatment continues. Submitted by S.K., Toluca Lake, California.

* K.L. is a 64-year-old retired male. The date of his first visit was January 29, 1995. Clinical manifestations included the following signs and symptoms: poor attention span, hand tremor, stiff tongue and inability to hold a rice bowl or chop sticks, poor balance and required help when walking. He also had partial urinary and fecal incontinence with frequent urination. A CT scan taken on December 22, 1995 confirmed cerebral atrophy. The patient's condition dramatically improved after taking Neuro Plus for only five days. On the sixth day, the patient's hand tremors stopped. He was much more energetic. His frequency of urination decreased, and he did not require assistance to walk. He commented that Neuro Plus was like a "magic bullet" - and he said it without stuttering. Submitted Anonymously.

* J.B., a 76-year-old male, presented with post-stroke symptoms which occurred eleven years prior. The patient had been experiencing aphasia to the point of only being able to speak a minimal amount of words or phrases. In addition to his frustration, he had also been taking Lipitor (atorvastatin) for elevated cholesterol levels. The TCM diagnosis was unsubstantial phlegm obstructing the sensory orifices as well as Kidney qi and yin deficiencies. Neuro Plus was prescribed at 2 grams three times daily for six months before the dosage was cut in half to combine the dosage with Cholisma at 1 gram three times daily. After one month of taking Neuro Plus, the patient experienced increase in mental acuity and was able to put together sentences with more ease. He had also been receiving annual stem cell injections. However, these changes were above what his results were with the stem cell injections by themselves. The patient is now completely off Lipitor (atorvastatin) and his cholesterol levels are within normal range. Cholisma was added in after the Neuro Plus, acupuncture, and lifestyle changes had been in place for more than a year. In addition, his recent physical had also revealed his blood circulation was great with minimal to no obstructions. The patient now takes 2 grams three times daily of three formulas combined together (Neuro Plus, Cholisma and Circulation). Submitted by A.G., Solana Beach, California.

* D.D., a 72-year-old male, presented with shortness of breath and cough with frothy, clear white sputum. It was noted that this patient was diabetic, post stroke, with a heart function of 77%, and creatinine level of 1.8 mg/dL. Objective findings included left leg hot to the touch, right leg cold to the touch, and difficulty with inhaling. He had recently taken two rounds of antibiotics. The practitioner diagnosed this condition as Kidney not grasping the qi, Lung and Spleen qi deficiencies with phlegm accumulation; his Western diagnosis was COPD. For treatment he was given a combination of Cordyceps 3, Respitrol (Deficient), Circulation (SJ) and Neuro Plus, just one bottle at a time. The patient gradually improved, getting stronger each week and continued taking the herbs for about three months. Submitted by T.W., Perrysburg, Ohio.

* M.H., a 75-year-old male, presented with fatigue, was overworked, and had recently experienced a mini stroke in which he could not walk for 24 hours. Tongue was slightly deviated to the left and pulse was deep and slippery. The TCM diagnosis was Spleen and Kidney yang deficiencies; Western diagnosis was a 6 mm lesion in the poris medulla. After taking Symmetry and Neuro Plus, the patient felt less confused, more focused, and was able to walk again without struggle. He continued to take the herbs for five months to maintain his results. Submitted by V.G., Virginia Beach, Virginia.

* J.B., 64-year-old male, presented with chorea, jerky gait, and impaired psychomotor function. Symptoms of muscle atrophy, slurred speech and weight loss were also present. Both his father and grandfather had a similar condition that had resulted in death. His Western diagnosis was a possible hereditary genetic disorder called Huntington's disease. The patient had refused receiving any Huntington's muscle genetics testing. The practitioner diagnosed this condition as Kidney yin and jing (essence) deficiencies as well as wind in the channels. The patient was given Neuro Plus three capsules three times a day and took it for three months. At first, he was unable to be needled on distal points due to uncontrolled movement of the limbs, tremors and additional shaking. With Neuro Plus, the patient’s walking and balance improved. The patient reported improvement in his skin health, feels stronger overall, and gained ten pounds in three months. He remains active, drives, and works as a pottery craftsman. Submitted by K.F., Honolulu, Hawaii.

* A 52-year-old male presented with mania and anxiety due to working long hours and worrying too much about his finances. He had difficulty unwinding and sleeping at the end of the day. The patient also displayed unexpected bouts of hostility along with impulsive and belligerent outbursts of conversations. He had a family history of Alzheimer’s disease. After taking low doses of Neuro Plus, the patient appeared to have returned to normal. He reverted back to his easy-going personality, both in relation to his work and his general lifestyle. Though the long-term success of Neuro Plus was still inconclusive, the improvement towards the well being of this patient was encouraging up to this moment. Submitted by L.C., Santa Monica, California.

* R.V. is a 91-year-old female who suffers from poor memory and Sundowner’s syndrome. She has no short-term memory and is agitated and uncooperative at dusk. The only other symptom is loose stool. MRI shows no brain atrophy. The practitioner diagnosed her with Alzheimer’s with Kidney yin and yang deficiencies. Neuro Plus was taken for three years at 1 capsule twice a day. The practitioner reported that Neuro Plus appears to have slowed down the progression of Alzheimer’s. The patient experiences no more agitation at dusk and the periods of agitation that she does experience is dramatically reduced. Submitted by D.V., Newark, California.

* A 62-year-old female diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease presented with memory loss, disorientation and repetitive nonsensical speech patterns. The practitioner diagnosed the condition as qi and blood stagnation and Kidney qi deficiency. After taking Neuro Plus, the patient’s speech and thoughts were more coherent, as well as a reduction of memory loss. Submitted by V.G., Carlsbad, California.

* A 45-year-old female presented with right-sided dyskinesis, lethargy, headaches and contractures. She was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. After taking Neuro Plus, the patient displayed improvements in energy level, thinking and movement, which in turn enhanced her ability to function in activities of daily living. The patient was continually prescribed Neuro Plus at 8 grams per day. Submitted by G.P., Brea, California.

* C.B. was a 56-year-old female who suffered from weight gain, right-side sciatic pain, insomnia, hot flashes and night sweats. She exhibited rapid, thin and thready pulse with peeled and cracked tongue. The practitioner diagnosed her with Kidney yin and blood deficiency with deficiency heat and blood stagnation. Neuro Plus and Balance (Heat) were prescribed. The patient reported the sciatic pain went away completely. Night sweats and hot flashes were reduced, therefore insomnia was no longer an issue. Submitted by S.C., Santa Monica, California.

* R.L., a 79-year-old female, presented with post-stroke symptoms of paralysis on the right side (leg, arm and face). Her blood pressure was 140/80 mmHg and the heart rate was 90 beats per minute. She also had high cholesterol. She was diagnosed with wind-stroke with blood stagnation. Neuro Plus and Cholisma were prescribed at 4.5 grams and 1.5 grams each day, respectively. This patient also received acupuncture. After ten weeks of treatment, the patient regained movement of her leg and partial movement of her arm and almost full movement of her face and mouth. Neuro Plus also helped the patient regain strength. These were very quick results. In addition, the cholesterol level dropped from 250 to 180 mg/dL. Submitted by W.F., Bloomfield, New Jersey.

 

PHARMACOLOGICAL AND CLINICAL RESEARCH

Neuro Plus is designed to treat dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, sequelae of stroke, and other neurodegenerative disorders with compromised mental functions. Neuro Plus contains herbs that exert positive actions in the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders. They promote blood circulation to the brain to facilitate repair and healing of brain cells, protect the nerves against toxic substances, and improve mental and physical functions.

        Yin Xing Ye (Folium Ginkgo), one of the main herbs in this formula, has been used in China and Europe for treatment of dementia. Pharmacologically, it has an antiplatelet effect to reduce blood viscosity and vasodilative effect to increase perfusion to peripheral parts of the body, such as the brain.[5],[6] In addition, it has also shown cognitive effect to improve attention and memory in 52 young, healthy volunteers.[7] Clinically, numerous studies have shown Yin Xing Ye (Folium Ginkgo) to be safe and effective in treating various types of neurodegenerative disorders. According to a placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized clinical trial with 309 patients over 52 weeks, Yin Xing Ye (Folium Ginkgo) was concluded to be “safe” and capable of “improving the cognitive performance and the social functioning of demented patients for six months to one year.” The study was published by JAMA in October 1997.[8] According to another randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trial, 400 patients aged 50 years or above with dementia with neuropsychiatric features were treated with Yin Xing Ye (Folium Ginkgo) extract or placebo for 22 weeks. The results showed that Yin Xing Ye (Folium Ginkgo) extract was significantly superior to placebo on all secondary outcome measures, including the Neuropsychiatric Inventory and an activities-of-daily-living scale. Furthermore, Yin Xing Ye (Folium Ginkgo) extract was well tolerated. Incidents of adverse effects were comparable to placebo.[9] Another study conducted at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine also showed that use of Yin Xing Ye (Folium Ginkgo) is significantly better than placebo to improve cognitive performance and global assessment scores in patients with dementia accompanied by neuropsychiatric symptoms.[10]

        Another important herb in this formula is Qian Ceng Ta (Herba Lycopodii Serrati). This herb is historically used to invigorate blood circulation and disperse blood stasis in Chinese herbal medicine. It contains huperzine A, a unique alkaloid that has shown remarkable neuroprotective, antidementia, and cognitive effects. Huperzine A has the ability to protect nerve cells against hydrogen peroxide, beta-amyloid protein (or peptide), glutamate, ischaemia and staurosporine-induced cytotoxicity and apoptosis.[11] In addition, it has reversible, potent and selective acetylcholine esterase (AChE) inhibitors, according to in vitro and in vivo pharmacological studies.[12],[13] Huperzine A exhibits memory-enhancing activities in a broad range of cognitive models in animals.[14] It also shows a significant effect to improve learning and retrieval processes,[15] and improves short and long-term memory in patients with cerebral arteriosclerosis and memory impairment.[16]

        Clinically, there are many studies to justify the use Qian Ceng Ta (Herba Lycopodii Serrati) to treat Alzheimer's disease, dementia, and other neurodegenerative disorders. According to one multicenter, prospective, double-blind, parallel, placebo-controlled and randomized method, daily administration of 0.2 mg of huperzine A in 50 patients with Alzheimer's disease was associated with improvements in their memory, cognitive, and behavioral functions, when compared with 53 patients on placebo. Furthermore, no severe side effects were found with huperzine A use.[17] More recently, huperzine A shows significant improvements to both cognitive function and the quality of life in patients with Alzheimer's disease, according to a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial.[18] According to another clinical study, huperzine A showed a significant curative effect when used to treat 56 patients with multi-infarct dementia or senile dementia and 104 patients with senile and presenile simple memory disorders. The main side effect noted was slight dizziness in only a few patients, and this did not affect the therapeutic benefits.[19] Lastly, according to Phase IV clinical trials in China, huperzine A significantly relieves many conditions associated with memory deficits, including benign senescent forgetfulness, Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia. In addition, use of huperzine A is associated with minimal peripheral cholinergic side effects when compared to other acetylcholinesterase drugs.[20] Overall, Qian Ceng Ta (Herba Lycopodii Serrati) has been used to treat approximately 100,000 patients with dementia in China. In short, while the mechanism of action of huperzine A in Qian Ceng Ta (Herba Lycopodii Serrati) is similar to that of Cognex (tacrine), the first drug approved in the United States for Alzheimer’s, the researchers conclude that the herb may be more effective and cause fewer side effects than the drug.[21]

        One of the main etiologies of neurodegenerative disorders is the lack of blood perfusion to the brain, which deprives it of essential nutrients and leads to deterioration in mental and physical functions. Many herbs are used in Neuro Plus to remedy this condition. Dan Shen (Radix et Rhizoma Salviae Miltiorrhizae) improves microcirculation and is commonly used to increase blood perfusion to the brain.[22] Dan Shen (Radix et Rhizoma Salviae Miltiorrhizae) has been shown in two studies to have a protective effect against cerebral ischemia by increasing cerebral perfusion and reducing ultra-structural abnormalities.[23],[24] Other studies demonstrate that with an increase in cerebral perfusion, Dan Shen (Radix et Rhizoma Salviae Miltiorrhizae) reduces neurological deficits and repairs cellular damage.[25],[26] Furthermore, Dan Shen (Radix et Rhizoma Salviae Miltiorrhizae), Shui Zhi (Hirudo) and Hong Hua (Flos Carthami) inhibit coagulation, activate fibrinolysis, and are especially effective in treating and/or preventing stroke caused by blood clots blocking the blood vessels in the brain.[27]

        Wu Gong (Scolopendra) has an excellent effect in stopping muscle spasms and cramps. It is commonly used clinically to treat seizures, convulsions, diphtheria and other conditions that exhibit muscle stiffness and spasm. Though mechanisms of actions differ, Tian Ma (Rhizoma Gastrodiae) also has anticonvulsive and muscle-relaxant effects. These two herbs are used together in this herbal formula to address muscle spasms, tremors, muscle rigidity and general musculoskeletal problems.[28]

        In summary, Neuro Plus is an excellent formula to treat various neurodegenerative disorders, including but not limited to dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and sequelae of stroke.

 

COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS

Neurological disorders are complicated illnesses that encompass many different diseases, including but not limited to Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and sequelae of stroke. From Western medical perspectives, these diseases are well defined and accurately diagnosed, but not successfully treated. Alzheimer’s disease may be managed with Cognex (tacrine) and Namenda (memantine), which temporarily improves thinking but does not cure the disease nor alter its prognosis. However, Cognex (tacrine) may cause clumsiness, unsteadiness, diarrhea, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, and liver damage, and Namenda (memantine) may lead to extreme tiredness, dizziness, confusion, headache, sleepiness, constipation, vomiting, pain anywhere in the body, shortness of breath, and hallucination. Parkinson’s disease may be managed with drugs that control symptoms, such as Sinemet (levodopa and carbidopa). However, these drugs only control symptoms, and do not cure the disease nor alter its prognosis. Common side effects include agitation, anxiety, nervousness, difficulty concentrating, dizziness or lightheadedness, headache, irritability, loss of appetite, nausea, blotchy spots on the skin, insomnia, and nightmares. Sequelae of stroke are only treated symptomatically with supportive care. Though there are drugs for treatment and prevention of stroke, there are none for management of stroke sequelae, such as poor speech, muscle paralysis, urinary and bowel incontinence, and constipation. In brief, drug treatment for these neurological disorders focus on treating symptoms, as there are no drugs that cure or alter the progression of these diseases.

        TCM offers many options for treatment of these neurological disorders. Neuro Plus has been used in major hospitals in Tianjing, China with great success for treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and stroke sequelae. Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases are chronic illnesses that develop over a long period of time, and therefore, require long-term use of herbs to slowly stabilize and stop deterioration of the illness. Stroke, on the other hand, is an acute, sudden illness that causes immediate and dramatic changes. Similarly, use of TCM treatments (acupuncture and herbs) is likely to have immediate and significant results. In fact, near-complete recovery from stroke sequelae is sometimes possible, especially if treatments are initiated early, frequently, and aggressively.

        Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases are two challenging conditions to both Western and traditional Chinese medicine. Drugs and herbs may manage symptoms, but they do not reverse the course of these illnesses. Sequelae of stroke is poorly managed by Western medicine but effectively treated with traditional Chinese medicine. Therefore, for post-stroke patients, both acupuncture and herbal treatments must be initiated early, frequently, and aggressively to achieve maximum benefit and near-­complete recovery.

 



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