Yokukansankachimpihange (YKSCH), a traditional Japanese medicine, is widely used for the amelioration of the behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia with digestive dysfunction. Regardless of its successful use for digestive dysfunction, the effect of YKSCH on body weight was unknown. Furthermore, if YKSCH increased body weight, it might increase motivation according to Kampo medicine theory. Therefore, we investigated whether YKSCH had the potential to increase body weight and enhance motivation in mice. To address this, C57BL/6J mice were used to evaluate the long-term effect of YKSCH on body weight and food-incentive motivation. As part of the evaluation, we optimized an operant test for use over the long-term. We found that feeding mice YKSCH-containing chow increased body weight, but did not increase their motivation to food reward. We propose that YKSCH may be a good treatment option for preventing decrease in body weight in patients with dementia.
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