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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 518421, 12 pages
Research Article

The effect of PN-1, a Traditional Chinese Prescription, on the Learning and Memory in a Transgenic Mouse Model of Alzheimer’s Disease

Comparative Medical Center, Institute of Laboratory Animal Science, Peking Union Medical College (PUMC), Chinese Academy of Medical Science (CAMS), Beijing 100021, China

Received 14 October 2012; Revised 13 January 2013; Accepted 15 January 2013

Academic Editor: Wei Jia

Copyright © 2013 Zhi-Gang Yao et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a complete medical system that has been practiced for more than 3000 years. Prescription number 1 (PN-1) consists of several Chinese medicines and is designed according to TCM theories to treat patients with neuropsychiatric disorders. The evidence of clinical practice suggests the benefit effects of PN-1 on cognitive deficits of dementia patients. We try to prove and explain this by using contemporary methodology and transgenic animal models of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The behavioral studies were developed to evaluate the memory of transgenic animals after intragastric administration of PN-1 for 3 months. Amyloid beta-protein (Aβ) neuropathology was quantified using immunohistochemistry and ELISA. The western blotting was used to detect the levels of plasticity associated proteins. The safety of PN-1 on mice was also assessed through multiple parameters. Results showed that PN-1 could effectively relieve learning and memory impairment of transgenic animals. Possible mechanisms showed that PN-1 could significantly reduce plaque burden and Aβ levels and boost synaptic plasticity. Our observations showed that PN-1 could improve learning and memory ability through multiple mechanisms without detectable side effects on mice. We propose that PN-1 is a promising alternative treatment for AD in the future.