Alzheimer's disease is a brain disorder correlated with major reductions of neurons to the respective target areas and named after German physician Alois Alzheimer. Alzheimer's destroys brain cells, causing cognitive modalities severe enough to affect language communication, memory, lifelong hobbies or social life. Alzheimer's gets worse over time, and it is fatal.
According to statistic, over 25 million people in the world today are affected by dementia and most are suffering from Alzheimer's disease. It may be results of cigarette smoking, midlife high blood pressure and obesity, diabetes, and cerebrovascular lesions) and the possible beneficial roles of psychosocial factors (eg, high education, active social engagement, physical exercise, and mentally stimulating activity)(1) Strong evidences emerged in epidemiological studies suggested that certain herbs(2) may have potential in reduced risk and treatments of Alzheimer's disease but geographic source of the plant material, climatation, and time of harvest may effect their effectiveness. It is understandable that commercially available herbal medicinal products with the same herbal ingredients vary in their content and concentration of chemical constituents when compared between manufacturers.
Calabar bean is the seed of climbing perennial plant, a genus Physostigma, belonging to the family Fabaceae, native to the tropical Africa. The herb has been used in folk medicine in contract the pupil, manage ocular pressure in glaucoma, etc.
Physostigmine, a major alkaloids from Physostigma venenosum exhibited its neuroprotective affect in Alzheimers' disease through inhibition of acetyl- and butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) activities(41) and alleviated of AD pathology and associated symptoms, for cognitive and for behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD)(42). The University of Massachusetts study showed that Calabar bean in dose-response relationships, enhances memory, and improves drug discovery activities(42).
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(1) Epidemiology of Alzheimer's disease: occurrence, determinants, and strategies toward intervention. by Qiu C, Kivipelto M, von Strauss E.(PubMed)
(2) The Use of Herbal Medicine in Alzheimer's Disease—A Systematic Review by Leopoldo Luiz dos Santos-Neto,1 Maria Alice de Vilhena Toledo,2
(41) Alkaloids as a source of potential anticholinesterase inhibitors for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease by Konrath EL, Passos Cdos S, Klein LC Jr, Henriques AT(PubMed)
(42) Ethnobotanical treatment strategies against Alzheimer's disease.
Howes MJ, Houghton PJ(PubMed)(43) Alzheimer's disease drugs: an application of the hormetic dose-response model by Calabrese EJ.(PubMed)