RSS Feed Print
The use of specific polyphenols to treat Alzheimer's disease
Lane Simonian
Posted: Saturday, May 20, 2017 10:21 AM
Joined: 12/12/2011
Posts: 4863

Here are a few recent studies suggesting that specific phenols in plants can be used to treat Alzheimer's disease (eugenol is found in several essential oils and ferulic acid and vanillic acid are found in panax ginseng).

Eugenol prevents amyloid formation of proteins and inhibits amyloid-induced hemolysis

[hemolyis is the rupture of blood vessels and peroxynitrite is one of the causes of hemolyis]

Neuroprotective effects of eugenol against aluminium induced toxicity in the rat brain


Vanillic acid attenuates AB1-42-induced oxidative stress and cognitive impairment in mice

Combination Therapy with Octyl Gallate and Ferulic Acid Improves Cognition and Neurodegeneration in a Transgenic Mouse Model of Alzheimer Disease


Many factors besides amyloid beta cause oxidative stress--that is one of the reasons why attempts to remove amyloid beta have been ineffective in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease.  As Alzheimer's disease progresses the formation of peroxynitrite through NMDA receptor activation (excitotoxicity) prevents the transport and removal of glutatmate which results in the perpetual activation of NMDA receptors and the increasing formation of peroxynitrite (which prevents the synthesis and release of neurotransmitters needed for the retrieval of short-term memory, sleep, mood, social recognition, and alertness, prevents the regeneration of neurons, and contributes to the death of neurons).  Eugenol, ferulic acid, and vanillic acid all scavenge peroxynitrite and help restore glutatmate transport, thus limiting excitotoxicity.

Plants that contain mulitiple compounds that scavenge peroxynitrite (such as marijuana and panax ginseng) or whose compounds can reach the hippocampus easily through the nose (direct inhalation aromatherapy) hold great promise in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease.


Lane Simonian
Posted: Monday, May 22, 2017 9:52 AM
Joined: 12/12/2011
Posts: 4863

A good study (I put a few caveats in parentheses):

 2017 Mar 28. doi: 10.2174/1389450118666170328122527. [Epub ahead of print]

Natural Polyphenols in the Treatment of Alzheimer's Disease.


Neurodegenerative disease is an incurable disease which involves the degeneration or death of the nerve cells. Alzheimer's Disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disease discovered in 1906 by Alois Alzheimer, a German clinical psychiatrist and neuroanatomist. The main pathological hallmarks of this disease are the formation of extracellular amyloid beta (AB) plaques and intracellular neurofibrillary tangle (NFT). The accumulation of the amyloid protein aggregates in the brain of AD patients leads to oxidative stress and inflammation [as do several dozen other factors]. Other postulated reasons for the development of this disease are cholinergic depletion and excessive glutamatergic neurotransmission. The current drugs approved and marketed for the treatment of AD are cholinesterase inhibitors (ChEIs) and N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonists. The function of ChEIs is to avoid cholinergic depletion; whereas the function of NMDA receptor antagonist is to block excessive glutamatergic neurotransmission. Unfortunately, the current drugs prescribed for AD show only modest improvement in terms of symptomatic relief and delay the progression of the disease [acetylcholinesterase activity declines as the disease progresses and Namenda/memantine is a weak NMDA antagonist]. This review will discuss about several polyphenolic compounds as potential natural treatment options for AD. Three compounds are highlighted in this review - Curcumin (Cur) [other spices such as black pepper are needed to increase its absorption into the bloodstream], Resveratrol (Rsv) [low bioavailability] and Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) [absorption improves somewhat if taken on an empty stomach]. These compounds have huge potential for AD treatment, especially due to their low frequency of adverse events. However, the current conventional pharmaceutical drugs remain as the mainstay of treatment for AD.