characterized by astrogliosis, microgliosis, neurofibrillary tangles and deposition of amyloid beta, leading
to cognitive deterioration with behavioral disturbances and declining activities. The currently available
therapeutic medications mainly include anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), antioxidants, NMDA receptor
antagonist, nootropic agent and cholinesterase inhibitors. However, these pharmacological interventions
are questionable since treatment success cannot be predicted and benefits in clinic are very limited. In
this context, therapies involving natural products provide alternative and complementary choices to treat
patients with AD.
used natural drugs and compounds to treat AD (clinical studies – humans) in the last 10 years (2005-2015).
with treatment using natural products. Studies tested the following plants: Bacopa monnieri, Hippophae
rhamnoides, Dioscorea bulbifera, Ginkgo biloba, curcumin, Panax ginseng, Crocus sativus, apple juice,
Polygonum multiflorum, saffron, Melissa oficinalis, Cistanche tubulosa glycoside, Nigella sativa and
chlorella. Ginkgo biloba is the most studied plant with 11 articles in clinical trials with 8 positive results
and 3 negative results. It can be suggested that Ginkgo may help established AD patients with cognitive
symptoms but cannot prevent the neurodegenerative progression of the disease.
Conclusion: Some natural drugs provided good/positive responses to treat and/or prevent the progression of AD in studied subjects. According to the data collected we can conclude that natural products can be explored in an attempt to find novel compounds to treat and prevent the progression of AD, since studies have
confirmed the beneficial effects of several natural drugs.
Apetz N, Munch G, Govindaraghavan S, Gyengesi E. Natural compounds and plant extracts as
therapeutics against chronic inflammation in Alzheimer’s disease–a translational perspective. CNS &
neurological disorders drug targets. 2014;13(7):1175-91.
Yang M, Xu DD, Zhang Y, Liu X, Hoeven R, Cho WC. A systematic review on natural medicines for
the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease with meta-analyses of intervention effect of ginkgo.
The American journal of Chinese medicine. 2014;42(3):505-21.