Buyanghuanwu decoction (BYHWD), a traditional Chinese herbal prescription, has been used clinically for hundreds of years to treat stroke with a yang-tonic effect. The component herbs of BYHWD are Astragalis Radix, Lumbricus, Angelicae Sinensis Radix, Ligustici Chuanxiong Rhizoma, Paeoniae Radix Rubra, Persicae Semen, and Carthami Flos. BYHWD shows an antioxidant effect by raising the decline of superoxide dismutase and GPX activities in a rat model induced by pertussis vaccine . BYHWD improves recovery of neurological function, reduces infarction volume, stimulates neural proliferation, and modulates VEGF and Flk1 expression in transient focal cerebral ischaemic rat brains . BYHWD protects neurons from hypoxia-induced apoptosis, the mechanism of which may lie in the elimination of NO and oxygen free radicals produced during hypoxia, and also by up-regulation of Bcl-2 expression , and down-regulation of p53 and p21 gene expression .
A number of studies have demonstrated that BYHWD improves the outcome of ischemic stroke in clinical trials. BYHWD improves the metabolic imbalance of endothelin and calcitonin GCRP in patients with early cerebral infarction . BYHWD promotes the proliferation of rat cortical neurons cultured in both normal and hypoxia conditions . Pretreatment of BYHWD showed neuroprotective effects in the 4-VO rat model and suppressed the expression of caspase-3 p20 in the CA1 region .
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