The NICM Health Research Institute (NICM) at Western Sydney University in Australia has added three new hospital sites in New South Wales (NSW), Victoria (VIC) and Queensland (QLD) for a Phase III clinical trial of a Chinese herbal extract Sailuotong (SLT) for the treatment of vascular dementia.

The trial is expected to include additional sites in South Australia (SA) and Western Australia (WA) and has already started enrolling subjects at the new sites in The Royal Melbourne Hospital, Brisbane’s The Prince Charles Hospital, and Southern Cross University and St Vincent Hospital in Lismore.

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The 52-week trial is scheduled to enrol at least 226 dementia patients aged 40 and over by mid next year.

The trial’s principal investigator Daniel Chan said: “The Phase III trials, which is the stage we’re currently involved in, will be able to indicate further if this is the case.

“Patients volunteering in the trial will take two capsules twice a day for 52 weeks and attend clinical visits so their health can be closely monitored.”

“Patients volunteering in the trial will take two capsules twice a day for 52 weeks and attend clinical visits so their health can be closely monitored.”

More than 400,000 Australians are currently estimated to be living with dementia, while vascular dementia is the second most common type of dementia after Alzheimer’s disease.

In the absence of a treatment for the disease, the number of Australians living with dementia is estimated to double over the next 20 years.

Furthermore, newly published data from a trial held in China of SLT has shown positive results.

Conducted among 325 participants, the trial demonstrated SLT as an effective treatment for vascular dementia, improving cognition and daily functioning in Chinese patients with mild-to-moderate vascular dementia.

The results also showed improved functioning in various domains of dementia, such as memory, orientation, language and executive function after 26 weeks of SLT treatment.