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Brent A. Bauer, M.D.read biographyclose window
Brent A. Bauer, M.D.Brent A. Bauer, M.D.
Brent Bauer, M.D., is board certified in internal medicine. He is a consultant in the Department of Internal Medicine and director of the Department of Internal Medicine's Complementary and Integrative Medicine Program at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Dr. Bauer, a native of Madison, Wis., is also a professor of medicine at Mayo Medical School and a graduate of Mayo Medical School.
He serves on the editorial board of the Mayo Clinic Health Letter and is medical editor for EmbodyHealth Newsletter. He has been on staff at Mayo Clinic since 1992, first practicing at Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz., before joining Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn., in 1996.
Dr. Bauer's principal research focus is the scientific evaluation of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies that patients and consumers are using with increasing frequency. He has authored several book chapters and papers on this topic, and is the medical editor of the "Mayo Clinic Book of Alternative Medicine." Dr. Bauer also spearheaded collaboration between Mayo Clinic and Gaiam in the creation of a series of 10 DVDs (Mayo Clinic Wellness Solutions). These DVDs address common health problems (for example, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure) with integrative medicine approaches that empower people to take charge of their health. His work is at the forefront of the emerging field of integrative medicine which combines the best of conventional medicine with the best of evidence-based complementary therapies.
Dr. Bauer has served on the NIH-NCCAM study section and is currently collaborating on over 20 studies being conducted at Mayo Clinic evaluating CAM therapies ranging from acupuncture to valerian. He is also a member of Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society; the American Federation for Medical Research; the North Central Cancer Treatment Group and other professional organizations.
Risk factors (2)
- Alzheimer's: Can a head injury increase my risk?
- Oophorectomy (ovary removal): A risk factor for dementia?
- Sundowning: Late-day confusion
Tests and diagnosis (2)
- Rapidly progressing Alzheimer's: Something else?
- Alzheimer's test: Detection at the earliest stages
- Phantosmia: What causes olfactory hallucinations?
Treatments and drugs (3)
- Alzheimer's nose spray: New Alzheimer's treatment?
- Folic acid supplements: Can they slow cognitive decline?
- Vitamin B-12: Can it improve memory in Alzheimer's?
Lifestyle and home remedies (2)
- Music and Alzheimer's: Can it help?
- Alzheimer's: Can a Mediterranean diet lower my risk?
Alternative medicine (5)
- Huperzine A: Can it treat Alzheimer's?
- Axona: Medical food to treat Alzheimer's
- Phosphatidylserine supplements: Can they improve memory?
- see all in Alternative medicine
Coping and support (1)
- Elder care for Alzheimer's: Choosing a provider
- Alzheimer's prevention: Does it exist?
- Alzheimer's disease: Can exercise prevent memory loss?
- Benefits of being bilingual: Delay Alzheimer's?
Huperzine A: Can it treat Alzheimer's?
Can huperzine A prevent memory loss and improve cognitive function in people with Alzheimer's disease?
from Brent A. Bauer, M.D.
Huperzine (HOOP-ur-zeen) A, a dietary supplement derived from the Chinese club moss Huperzia serrata, has received some interest as a potential treatment for Alzheimer's disease.
Huperzine A acts as a cholinesterase inhibitor — a type of medication that works by improving the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain. Small early studies suggest that huperzine A may improve memory and protect nerve cells, which could slow the cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer's. More studies are needed, however, to determine possible benefits and long-term risks of huperzine A.
For now, most doctors don't recommend taking huperzine A because FDA-approved cholinesterase inhibitor medications are available that have been tested for safety and effectiveness. The Alzheimer's Association recommends that you not take huperzine A if you're already taking a prescribed cholinesterase inhibitor, such as donepezil (Aricept), rivastigmine (Exelon) or galantamine (Razadyne). Taking both could cause side effects, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness and muscle cramps. Consult with your doctor before starting any dietary supplement, including huperzine A.Next question
Axona: Medical food to treat Alzheimer's
- Desilets AR, et al. Role of huperzine A in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. The Annals of Pharmacotherapy. 2009;43:514.
- Li J, et al. Huperzine A for Alzheimer's disease. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2008:CD005592. http://www2.cochrane.org/reviews. Accessed Sept. 19, 2011.
- Alternative treatments. Alzheimer's Association. http://www.alz.org/alzheimers_disease_alternative_treatments.asp. Accessed Sept. 19, 2011.
- Huperzine A. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://www.naturaldatabase.com. Accessed Sept. 19, 2011.
- Ha GT, et al. Huperzine A as a potential treatment of Alzheimer's disease: An assessment on chemistry, pharmacology, and clinical studies. Chemistry and Biodiversity. 2011;8:1189.