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Berberine a “multipotent” therapy for reducing risk of Alzheimer’s disease


Researchers from Hong Kong and Macau conducted a systematic review to evaluate the neuroprotective effects of berberine. Their article was published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

  • Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a complex disease driven by multiple factors.
  • Therapeutic strategies based on decreasing the amount of B-amyloid in the brain have failed in clinical trials, suggesting that AD therapy should not be focused on addressing a single cause, but rather a number of different pathways that lead to the disease.
  • Berberine, an alkaloid derived from various Berberis species, is widely used in East Asia to treat a wide range of health problems.
  • Recently, studies have reported that berberine has neuroprotective effects on AD animal models.
  • However, no clinical trial has been carried out to test these effects.
  • For their pre-clinical trial review, the researchers searched five online databases for publications reporting effect of berberine treatment on animal models of AD.
  • They found 15 papers published no later than March 18 that fit their criteria.
  • After analyzing data from those studies, the researchers reported that in multiple animal models with memory defects, berberine showed significant memory-improving activities.
  • These activities were mediated by different properties, including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, cholinesterase-inhibiting and anti-amyloid activities.

Based on their findings, the researchers concluded that berberine is a promising multi-potent agent against Alzheimer’s disease.

Read the full study at this link.

Journal Reference:

Yuan NN, Cai CZ, Wu MY, Su HX, Li M, Lu JH. NEUROPROTECTIVE EFFECTS OF BERBERINE IN ANIMAL MODELS OF ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE: A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW OF PRE-CLINICAL STUDIES. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 23 May 2019;19(1). DOI: 10.1186/s12906-019-2510-z

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