Treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease in Iranian Traditional Medicine


Mohammad Mahdi Ahmadian-Attari 1 , Abolhassan Ahmadiani 2 , 3 , 4 , Mohammad Kamalinejad 5 , Leila Dargahi 2 , 3 , Mahmoud Mosaddegh 1 , * , Meysam shirzad 6

1 Department of Traditional Pharmacy, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, IR Iran

2 Neurobiology Research Center, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, IR Iran

3 Neuroscience Research Center, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, IR Iran

4 Department of Pharmacology, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

5 Department of Pharmacognosy, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, IR Iran

6 Department of Traditional Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, IR Iran

How to Cite: Ahmadian-Attari M M, Ahmadiani A, Kamalinejad M, Dargahi L, Mosaddegh M, et al. Treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease in Iranian Traditional Medicine, Iran Red Crescent Med J. 2015 ; 17(1):e96001. doi: 10.5812/ircmj.18052.


Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal: 17 (1); e96001
Published Online: December 25, 2014
Article Type: Research Article
Received: July 03, 2019
Accepted: April 09, 2014




Background: Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease with a high prevalence in recent years. Dramatic growth in AD prevalence has increased the importance of more researches on AD treatment. History has shown that traditional medicine can be a source of inspiration to find new therapies.

Objectives: This study tried to codify the recommendations of Iranian traditional medicine (ITM) by studying the main medical manuscripts. The second purpose was to compare these findings with new medical information.

Materials and Methods: Cardinal traditional medical and pharmacological texts from 10th to 18th century were searched for traditional terms of dementia (Nesyan, Fisad-uz-Zekr, Faramooshkari) focused on treatment methods. The findings were classified into three groups: lifestyle recommendations, dietary approaches, and drug therapies. These findings were compared with new medical findings.

Results: ITM has dietary recommendations for dementia such as increasing consumption of nuts, poultry and eggs, milk, and grape products (like raisin and currant). These compounds are full of unsaturated fatty acids, cholesterol, and polyphenolic compounds. New findings suggest that these substances can help in prevention and treatment of AD. ITM has some lifestyle considerations like increasing physical and mental activities, listening to music, attending musical feasts, and smelling specific perfumes. New medical findings confirm nearly all of these recommendations. Along with the aforementioned items, treatment with natural medicines is in the first line of traditional treatment of dementia. New investigations show that many of these herbs have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory factors and acetylcholine esterase inhibitory effects. A few of them also have N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) blocking activity. When these herbs are put together in traditional formulations, they can comprehensively fight against the disease.

Conclusions: More ethnopharmacological and ethnomedical studies on ITM antidementia therapy can be followed by fruitful results.


Alzheimer’s Disease Traditional Medicine Diet Lifestyle

© 2015, Author(s). This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License ( which permits copy and redistribute the material just in noncommercial usages, provided the original work is properly cited.


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