This 1 Food May Help Fight Dementia

For years, researchers have been trying to figure out what causes dementia — and what might treat or even prevent it. But the disease has stumped researchers for years, and despite plenty of breakthroughs over the past decade, the disease still remains mostly a mystery. However, a recent breakthrough could completely change that game. Doctors are now looking toward Asian soups to potentially decipher a cure for the debilitating illness.

Adult Son Comforting Father Suffering With Dementia

Chinese scientists believe Asian soups may hold a dementia cure. | Monkeybusinessimages/iStock/Getty Images

What happens to the brain when dementia strikes?

Dementia is currently the only top 10 killer of Americans without any kind of treatment or cure. How exactly it chooses its victims still has doctors puzzled, but the disease damages the brain by creating plaque buildup between neurons. The plaque prevents the neurons, or brain cells, from being able to properly communicate. Eventually, the brain cells die, leaving the patient with brain damage that shows itself through memory loss, confusion, and physical disability. There are several types of dementia, but Alzheimer’s is the most progressive. Millions of people throughout the United States suffer from Alzheimer’s, and those rates are only expected to rise over the next decade.

2018 has seen several Alzheimer’s and dementia breakthroughs

This year, experts truly believe they’ve come closer to discovering a cure for the disease. Doctors have grown to understand the disease better, including exactly how those neurons are impacted by the plaques that form around them, plus the process that forms those plaques. They’ve also learned more about tangles, which are protein fibers that “tangle” and also contribute to the development of the disease. Certain immunotherapy tactics have shown promise, too, but no confirmed cures have been discovered.

Now, doctors think soup ingredients may hold the cure

Yes, it seems bizarre. But doctors are reverting back to medicinal tactics from thousands of years ago to help discover a cure for dementia. Chinese scientists believe a specific blend of herbs may hold the key to treating the harmful disease. According to The Jakarta Post, Ginkgo biloba, ginseng, and saffron extract, a combination known as Sailuotong (or SLT), is about to enter the late stages of study in Australia.

Researchers believe going back to the roots of tradition medicine could be exactly what the disease has needed all this time. Chinese experts hope that this combination of herbs will target the vascular causes of dementia and lead to a long-awaited cure. Later this year, China will begin an extended study of SLT on a number of patients to further determine its likelihood for success.

But a definitive cure is still a ways away

Although some major breakthroughs have been made this year, it takes a very long time for testing to be conducted, results to be studied, and an official cure to be developed. While the hope is that this herbal combination will produce the results scientists are looking for in their studies, it doesn’t mean a cure will be available in the next few months. It often takes several years for a treatment to be marketed to the public. But every new discovery is one step closer to preventing the disease in future generations.

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