Huperzine A (HupA) is a natural alkaloid derived from the Huperzia serrata plant, which is native to India and Southeast Asia. It has been used for hundreds of years by the Chinese to help treat fever, swelling, and certain blood disorders. Recently, however, it is being tested as a possible treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, memory loss, lack of concentration, and as a memory enhancer.
HupA is believed to help slow the degeneration of neurons in the brain. It has attracted quite a bit of medical attention due to the promising effects it may have on those experiencing mild to severe memory loss. In comparison with other memory aide supplements such as Gingko, HupA appears to have fewer side effects on individuals who take it than on those taking a Ginkgo regimen instead.
HupA is currently under a Phase II clinical trial with the National Institute of Aging to evaluate its effect on cognitive behavior and function in Alzheimer’s sufferers and those experiencing memory lapses or long-term deterioration of brain neurons. Scientists are also testing HupA for other medical trials, such as the Harvard University study where it is being tested for its abilities to help control seizures in epileptic patients as an alternative to other available pharmaceuticals for epilepsy.
Along with dementia and epilepsy, HupA may have a number of benefits—medically—to those who take them as a supplement for delaying the effects of Alzheimer’s disease and has been shown to be a possible treatment for Alzheimer’s patients.