DOI: 10.3390/nu15153428 ISSN: 2072-6643

The Effects of Andrographis paniculata (Burm.F.) Wall. Ex Nees and Andrographolide on Neuroinflammation in the Treatment of Neurodegenerative Diseases

Francesca Bosco, Stefano Ruga, Rita Citraro, Antonio Leo, Lorenza Guarnieri, Jessica Maiuolo, Francesca Oppedisano, Roberta Macrì, Federica Scarano, Saverio Nucera, Irene Bava, Ernesto Palma, Carolina Muscoli, Juan Hancke, Giovambattista De Sarro, Vincenzo Mollace
  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

Neurodegenerative diseases (NDs) affect millions of people worldwide, and to date, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases are the most common NDs. Of the many risk factors for neurodegeneration, the aging process has the most significant impact, to the extent that it is tempting to consider neurodegenerative disease as a manifestation of accelerated aging. However, genetic and environmental factors determine the course of neurodegenerative disease progression. It has been proposed that environmental stimuli influence neuroplasticity. Some clinical studies have shown that healthy lifestyles and the administration of nutraceuticals containing bioactive molecules possessing antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties have a preventive impact or mitigate symptoms in previously diagnosed patients. Despite ongoing research efforts, the therapies currently used for the treatment of NDs provide only marginal therapeutic benefits; therefore, the focus is now directly on the search for natural products that could be valuable tools in combating these diseases, including the natural compound Andrographis paniculata (Ap) and its main constituent, andrographolide (Andro). Preclinical studies have shown that the aqueous extract of Ap can modulate neuroinflammatory and neurodegenerative responses, reducing inflammatory markers and oxidative stress in various NDs. Therefore, in this review, we will focus on the molecular mechanisms by which Ap and Andro can modulate the processes of neurodegeneration and neuroinflammation, which are significant causes of neuronal death and cognitive decline.

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