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Huperzine-A is a compound extracted from herbs of the huperziceae family, which have been used for years in Chinese medicine to treat dementia. It has been receiving a lot of nootropic interest for learning and memory enhancement and treating dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease and certain muscular disorders. It has been shown to inhibit the enzyme acetylcholinesterase from breaking down acetylcholine which is essential for optimal cognitive function. Acetylcholine affects muscle contraction and is routinely used amongst weight-lifters as well as scholars.
A double-blind study was conducted among 103 people with Alzheimer’s Disease, where the participants were given either huperzine A or a placebo twice daily for 8 weeks. A significant contrast was recorded with around 60% of the group ingesting huperzine A showing a marked improvement in memory, thinking and behavioral functions, compared with 36% of the placebo-treated group. In an earlier double-blind trial using injected huperzine in 160 individuals with dementia or other memory disorders, similar improvements were also noted.
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