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Anti-inflammatory and memory-enhancing properties of Chinese herbal extracts: The possible application in Alzheimer's disease

1 Institute of Medical Sciences, College of Medicine, Tzu Chi University, Hualien, Taiwan
2 Department of Molecular Biology and Human Genetics, Tzu Chi University, Hualien, Taiwan

Correspondence Address:
Ingrid Y Liu,
Institute of Medical Sciences, Tzu Chi University, 701, Zhongyang Road, Section 3, Hualien
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/tcmj.tcmj_139_22

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressive brain disease that causes cognitive impairment in seniors. The beta-amyloid (Aβ) deposition and intracellular neurofibrillary tangles are two pathological hallmarks of AD. The increase of AD hallmarks causes inflammatory response enhancement, reduction of synaptic plasticity, and impaired cognition. The percentage of the aging population is growing along with the number of AD patients; however, effective treatment of AD is still limited. Therefore, developing preventive and therapeutic drugs for AD with fewer adverse side effects is urgently needed. The crude extracts from herbs such as Centella asiatica, Dendrobium catenatum, Litsea cubeba, Nardostachys jatamansi, Convolvulus pluricaulis, Melissa officinalis, Magnolia officinalis, Withania somnifera, and Nigella sativa improved memory performance and reduced inflammation response in various diseases. In addition, herbal blends usually have minimum aversive effects and can be mixed into diet and served as nutritional supplements. Hence, it is promising to develop Chinese herbal extracts to prevent or treat early AD. This review article highlights the currently available treatments of AD and the therapeutic effects of a group of crude extracts from Chinese herbs that can prevent cognitive decline and reduce the excessive inflammatory response. The possible clinical use of these Chinese herbal extracts in AD is also discussed.

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