A world-first clinical trial in Australia has found that Sailuotong (SLT), a Chinese herbal medicine compound, can significantly improve memory and executive functions in people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI).
Key findings: The trial, led by researchers at Western Sydney University, found that participants who received 180 milligrams of SLT per day for a period of 12 weeks demonstrated improvements in certain memory and executive functions — including delayed episodic memory retrieval, switching between cognitive concepts, higher-level divided attention and multitasking — compared to those who received a placebo.
Additionally, SLT was found to be well-tolerated, with researchers noting a low incidence of mild or moderate adverse events.
About SLT: SLT, which comes in capsules, is a Chinese herbal medicine containing standardized extracts of Panax ginseng, Ginkgo biloba and saffron (Crocus sativus L.). This unique preparation was co-developed and tested for over 15 years by researchers at Western Sydney University’s NICM Health Research Institute and Xiyuan Hospital at the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences in Beijing.
SLT has shown promise in addressing various aspects of MCI through its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiapoptotic and cholinergic-enhancing properties. Previous studies also showed its potential cognitive benefits in vascular dementia and neurocognition in healthy adults.
What’s Next: The trial, which was in phase 2, included 78 participants aged 60 or older and diagnosed with MCI. The researchers hope to conduct another trial with a larger sample size and longer treatment period with different doses, ultimately to ascertain SLT’s long-term efficiency in managing cognitive impairment and preventing dementia.
The trial’s results were published in Alzheimer’s and Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment and Disease Monitoring, a journal of the Illinois-based nonprofit Alzheimer’s Association.