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Role of berberine in Alzheimer’s disease

Authors Cai Z, Wang C, Yang W

Received 12 June 2016

Accepted for publication 18 July 2016

Published 3 October 2016 Volume 2016:12 Pages 2509—2520

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S114846

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Wai Kwong Tang


Zhiyou Cai,1,* Chuanling Wang,1,* Wenming Yang2

1Department of Neurology, Renmin Hospital, Hubei University of Medicine, Shiyan Renmin Hospital, Shiyan, Hubei Province, 2Department of Neurology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Anhui University of Chinese Medicine, Hefei, Anhui Province, People’s Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Abstract: Berberine, an important protoberberine isoquinoline alkaloid, has several pharmacological activities, including antimicrobial, glucose- and cholesterol-lowering, antitumoral, and immunomodulatory properties. Substantial studies suggest that berberine may be beneficial to Alzheimer’s disease (AD) by limiting the pathogenesis of extracellular amyloid plaques and intracellular neurofibrillary tangles. Increasing evidence has indicated that berberine exerts a protective role in atherosclerosis related to lipid- and glucose-lowering properties, implicating that berberine has the potential to inhibit these risk factors for AD. This review also attempts to discuss the pharmacological basis through which berberine may retard oxidative stress and neuroinflammation to exhibit its protective role in AD. Accordingly, berberine might be considered a potential therapeutic approach to prevent or delay the process of AD. However, more detailed investigations along with a safety assessment of berberine are warranted to clarify the role of berberine in limiting these risk factors and AD-related pathologies.

Keywords: berberine, amyloid, tau, oxidative stress, neuroinflammation, risk factors

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