Plants and their chemical compounds affecting β-amyloid and secretase activity as potential sources of neuroprotective herbal medicinal products. Part 2.
In recent years, many herbal plants and their active components have been tested in different models of neurodegenerative diseases. Some studies are focused rather on studies of chemical compounds of plant origin than on plant extracts. Several natural polyphenols (i.e. flawonoids) are known to exhibit wide spectrum of beneficial effects on brain functioning and to protect against neurodegenerative processes [1, 2]. It seems that influence on β-amyloid is a promising point of pharmacological action of these plant components, because this protein is a major biological risk factor contributing to Alzheimer’s disease (AD)-associated cascade including severe neuronal loss in the brain regions key for memory. In this review the attention is paid to studies on interesting natural chemical compounds of flavonoids (i.g. luteolin, myricetin, icariin) which are a promising study material for research of the potential neuroprotective effects by decreasing the activity of β-secretase (BACE -1) leading to diminish the generation and deposition of β-amyloid (Aβ) in the central nervous system. This range is even more interesting because plant polyphenols can be included in healthy diet and in multi-target drug therapy of neurodegererative diseases.