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Natural or Plant Products for the Treatment of Neurological Disorders: Current Knowledge

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Background: In recent decades, complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) has become very popular in the treatment of several chronic diseases. Natural products as one of the CAM modalities offer potential opportunities to discover lead compounds for novel drug development. The use of CAM or natural products in the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases is comparatively a newer area.

Method: A structured online literature search for peer-reviewed research articles was conducted on the PubMed, Europe PMC, Medline and Google Scholar portals, using phrases: natural products for neurologic disorders, phytomedicine for neurodegenerative diseases, natural therapeutics for neurological symptopms etc.

Results: The retrieved data showed the natural therapeutics with anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory salutations evidently plays a crucial role in protecting neurons. Of these, the most promising are caffeine, trigonelline, shogaol, curcumin, resveratrol, baicalein, wogonin, ginsenosides, tanshinones, withanolides, picrosides, parthenolide, cannabinoids, Devil's claw and white willow bark, including Chinese formulations Renshen Shouwu and Shengmai San. Though several herbs and their active ingredients have been studied in laboratory and clinical settings, only a few have been investigated for their molecular mechanisms of action. Notably, despite the promising and safe therapeutic benefits of CAM/herbal medicines, there exists a possible risk when combining them with prescription drugs. As a result, many drugs have shown changes in blood pressure, hepatotoxicity, seizures etc. when combined with certain herbs.

Conclusion: Certainly, extensive work is needed to make sure that patients should take a regimen of protective and restorative therapy under an experienced healthcare professional. This article updates on the current knowledge of promising natural products used in neurological disorders.
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Keywords: Alzheimer's disease; Complementary and alternative medicine; Parkinson's Disease; natural products; neurological disorders; neuroprotection

Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: April 1, 2018

This article was made available online on July 25, 2017 as a Fast Track article with title: "Natural or Plant Products for the Treatment of Neurological Disorders: Current Knowledge".

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  • Current Drug Metabolism aims to cover all the latest and outstanding developments in drug metabolism and disposition. The journal serves as an international forum for the publication of timely reviews in drug metabolism. Current Drug Metabolism is an essential journal for academic, clinical, government and pharmaceutical scientists who wish to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments. The journal covers the following areas:

    In vitro systems including CYP-450; enzyme induction and inhibition; drug-drug interactions and enzyme kinetics; pharmacokinetics, toxicokinetics, species scaling and extrapolations; P-glycoprotein and transport carriers; target organ toxicity and interindividual variability; drug metabolism and disposition studies; extrahepatic metabolism; phase I and phase II metabolism; recent developments for the identification of drug metabolites and adducts.
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