Research Topic

Ageing-Related Symptoms, Kampo Medicine and Treatment

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About this Research Topic

Simply extending lifespan is not enough, and many developed countries including Japan are struggling with an ever-increasing ageing population. Social and health-care systems are close to crisis which is why it is important to explore different approaches for the prevention and treatment of multiple ...

Simply extending lifespan is not enough, and many developed countries including Japan are struggling with an ever-increasing ageing population. Social and health-care systems are close to crisis which is why it is important to explore different approaches for the prevention and treatment of multiple age-related symptoms and diseases.

Herbal medicine including Japanese Kampo medicine differs considerably from western medicine. While western medicine uses disease-based diagnosis, herbal medicine such as Kampo, places more of an emphasis on patient-based diagnosis. More than 200 Kampo recipes are used with mixtures of 2 to 15 components most of which are medicinal herbs. Approximately 120 of these crude drugs are listed in the Japanese Pharmacopeia, and one-third of them are also listed in The World Health Organization (WHO) monographs. Recently, WHO has also recognized traditional medicine for the first time in its influential global medical compendium. Traditional medicine has also been included in the ICD-11 and will be hopefully widely used in the future.

Herbal medicine has been demonstrated to have therapeutic effects on various bodily functions. It can potentially reduce symptoms of fatigue and pain, increase immune function, improve anemia, insomnia, and gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and appetite loss, protecting liver and kidney functions, and even ameliorating sarcopenia and frailty. Herbal medicine has not been fully accepted by mainstream medicine because of the complex nature of its formulae. Although the stringent quality control of herbal medicine including Japanese Kampo and the reproducibility of preclinical findings, together with few adverse events, are making herbal medicine more and more attractive for the management of ageing-related symptoms and diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, inflammation, and metabolic and genitourinary diseases.

This Research Topic would therefore like to explore the impact of herbal medicines, such as Kampo medicine on common ageing-related symptoms and diseases. The multi-component herbal medicine capable of targeting multiple sites could be useful for reducing polypharmacy in aged patients. We welcome both basic and clinical studies that focus on molecular and cellular, animal and human senescence and related diseases; from prevention to treatment points of view.

We welcome manuscripts dealing with Kampo medicine and ageing-related symptoms and diseases in both basic and clinical researches, with special emphasis on clinical studies on themes such as but not limited to:

1) Kampo medicine and molecular and cellular senescence
2) Kampo medicine and ageing-related disease models
3) Kampo medicine and ageing-related symptoms and diseases including case reports
4) Kampo medicine and functional food

This Research Topic is a part II to our previous Research Topic on Frailty and Herbal Medicine- From Molecular Mechanisms to Clinical Efficacy .



Prof. Akio Inui is employed by Kagoshima University Graduate School of Medical and Dental Services, and belongs to a laboratory with funds donated by Kracie Pharmacautical, Ltd. All other Topic Editors declare no competing interests with regards to the Research Topic subject.


Keywords: Herbal Medicine, Japanese Kampo Medicine, Aging-Related Diseases, Longevity


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