Huperzine A is a multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled therapeutic trial to determine whether natural huperzine A improves cognitive function in Alzheimer’s Disease
Paul Aisen, MD
Background and Significance
Huperzine A is a natural cholinesterase inhibitor derived from the Chinese herb Huperzia serrata. There is evidence that huperzine A may compare favorably in symptomatic efficacy to cholinesterase inhibitors currently in use. In addition, huperzine A has antioxidant and neuroprotective properties that suggest that it may be useful as a disease-modifying treatment for Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The drug is currently available as a nutriceutical in this country, and is being used by some U.S. clinicians to treat AD. However, there have been no controlled clinical trials outside China assessing its toxicity and efficacy.