Alzheimer's disease: Molecular aspects and treatment opportunities using herbal drugs

Samridhi Thakral, Alka Yadav, Vikramjeet Singh, Manoj Kumar, Pradeep Kumar, Rakesh Narang, Kalvatala Sudhakar, Amita Verma, Habibullah Khalilullah, Mariusz Jaremko, Abdul-Hamid M. Emwas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Alzheimer's disease (AD), also called senile dementia, is the most common neurological disorder. Around 50 million people, mostly of advanced age, are suffering from dementia worldwide and this is expected to reach 100-130 million between 2040 and 2050. AD is characterized by impaired glutamatergic and cholinergic neurotransmission, which is associated with clinical and pathological symptoms. AD is characterized clinically by loss of cognition and memory impairment and pathologically by senile plaques formed by Amyloid β deposits or neurofibrillary tangles (NFT) consisting of aggregated tau proteins. Amyloid β deposits are responsible for glutamatergic dysfunction that develops NMDA dependent Ca2+ influx into postsynaptic neurons generating slow excitotoxicity process leading to oxidative stress and finally impaired cognition and neuronal loss. Amyloid decreases acetylcholine release, synthesis and neuronal transport. The decreased levels of neurotransmitter acetylcholine, neuronal loss, tau aggregation, amyloid β plaques, increased oxidative stress, neuroinflammation, bio-metal dyshomeostasis, autophagy, cell cycle dysregulation, mitochondrial dysfunction, and endoplasmic reticulum dysfunction are the factors responsible for the pathogenesis of AD. Acetylcholinesterase, NMDA, Glutamate, BACE1, 5HT6, and RAGE (Receptors for Advanced Glycation End products) are receptors targeted in treatment of AD. The FDA approved acetylcholinesterase inhibitors Donepezil, Galantamine and Rivastigmine and N-methyl-D-aspartate antagonist Memantine provide symptomatic relief. Different therapies such as amyloid β therapies, tau-based therapies, neurotransmitter-based therapies, autophagy-based therapies, multi-target therapeutic strategies, and gene therapy modify the natural course of the disease. Herbal and food intake is also important as preventive strategy and recently focus has also been placed on herbal drugs for treatment. This review focuses on the molecular aspects, pathogenesis and recent studies that signifies the potential of medicinal plants and their extracts or chemical constituents for the treatment of degenerative symptoms related to AD.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101960
JournalAgeing Research Reviews
StatePublished - May 22 2023

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2023-05-29

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Aging
  • Biotechnology
  • Neurology


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