The objective of this systematic review study was to assess the efficacy of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) or traditional Chinese veterinary medicine (TCVM) in the treatment of cognitive dysfunction. The study considered the similarities in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and canine cognitive dysfunction (CCD). The initial literature search resulted in 573 relevant clinical and nonclinical studies. Three categories of controlled clinical trials in AD patients were selected for review: placebo control (20), conventional medicine control (126), and integrated treatment (183). The studies were reviewed and those that met the inclusion criteria were selected for meta-analysis. The review found that 10 placebo-controlled studies, 38 conventional medicine-controlled studies, and 38 integrated studies were qualified for meta-analysis. In placebo-controlled studies, meta-analyses based on improvements in Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and Alzheimer’s Disease Assessment Scale-cognitive subscale (ADAS-cog) found statistical significance in the MMSE (p=8.74×10-7), ADAS-cog (p=0.0085), and overall p-value (p=3.66×10-17), suggesting that the TCM treatments were significantly more effective than placebo. In conventional treatment-controlled studies, results from the meta-analyses also suggest that TCM treatments were significantly more effective than conventional treatments based on the overall p-value (p=1.67×10-23) and improvement in MMSE (p=0.0002). In the integrated treatment studies, the meta-analyses findings suggest that TCM-integrated treatments were significantly more effective than conventional treatments alone (overall p-value: p=1.82×10-48 and p=0.0050 in MMSE improvements). Based on this systematic review and considering the similarities in pathology in the human and canine, TCVM may be helpful to lessen suffering and improve the quality of life in patients with canine cognitive dysfunction.
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The American Journal of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine is an international, peer-reviewed journal for the publication of the highest-quality, original scientific research in all branches of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM).
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