Neuroprotection is mechanisms and strategies associated with the protection of the brain functioning through the use of agents, including herbal medicines.
In other words, the neuroprotective effect is to protect the integrity of the viability of the neuron against nerve injury or degeneration that affects the central nervous system functioning.
Neurological disorders are diseases of the central nervous system including the brain, spine and the nerves that connect them. Most common diseases associated with neurological disorders in the elderly are dementia.
In the elderly, most common types of neurodegenerative diseases are
* Alzheimer's disease
Alzheimer's disease is a brain disorder that destroys brain cells, causing problems with memory, thinking, and behavior severe enough to affect language communication, memory, lifelong hobbies or social life. Alzheimer's gets worse over time, and it is fatal.
Over 1 million people in the US alone are currently afflicted by Alzheimer's disease because of degeneration of hippocampus and cerebral cortex of the brain where memory, language, and cognition are located.
* Absence of acetylcholine
If the nerves located in front of the brain perish causes the diminished quality of acetylcholine that affects language difficulty, memory loss, concentration problem, and reduced mobile skills.
* Dementia due to long-term alcohol abuse
Dementia is common in patients with alcoholism. Most classic is the Korsakoff's dementia that affects short term memory and often associated with memory losses.
* Multi-infarct dementia
Also known as vascular dementia, is the second most common form of dementia after Alzheimer's disease in older adults caused by different mechanisms all resulting in vascular lesions in the brain.
5. Parkinson's disease
Parkinson disease (PD) is a disabling, progressive condition associated with the cognitive deficit due to the interruption of frontal-subcortical loops that facilitate cognition and that parallel the motor loop.
6. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD)
People who have eaten contaminated beef many years may be infected without even knowing it. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is a quickly progressing and fatal disease that consists of dementia, muscle twitching, and spasm.
7. Subdural hematoma
It is the accumulation of blood beneath the outer covering of the brain that results from the rupture of a blood vessel. Subdural hemorrhages may cause an increase in intracranial pressure.. Acute subdural hematoma has a high mortality rate.
The cucumber plant is a species of Cucumis Sativus, belongings to the family Cucurbitaceae and native to Western Asia. It is a creeping vine with roots in the ground and grows up with the support of frames.
With an aim to find a natural compound which processes neuroprotective property, researchers investigated cucumber leaf extract against oxidative stress induced neuron dysfunction associated with diabetes mellitus.
The study included 30 adult male albino rats divided into 5 groups (n=6) including a normal control group and four diabetic groups.
Single intraperitoneal injection of streptozotocin (STZ; 60 mg/kg bw) induced diabetes rats also assigned into untreated diabetic control group compared to the other three other groups treated with cucumber leaf extract at the doses of 30, 60 and 120 mg/kg bw for 30 days.
According to brain evaluation, treated rat showed a significant effect in lowering the levels of blood glucose, glycated hemoglobin.
Proinflammatory expression and neurons oxidative stress in the brain is also decreased observed by the levels of tumor necrosis factor-alpha and interleukin levels, and brain malondialdehyde content, respectively.
Furthermore, a protein associated with programming neuron death was inhibited by the injection of cucumber leaf extract compared to control.
The efficacy of cucumber leaf extract that exerts neurons protection was attributed to the increased production of plasma dopamine, melatonin in the promotion of brain activity accompanied by stimulating the growth of new blood vessels and antioxidants produced by the host.
In other words, cucumber leaf extract improved the brain function not only through its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties but also the promotion of energy supply to the brain cells.
Based on the findings, researchers wrote, "it can be concluded that the C. melo var. flexuosus leaf extract exerts a neuroprotective effect against oxidative damage associated with diabetes".
Taken altogether, cucumber leaf extract may be used as a neuroprotective supplement, pending to the confirmation of the larger sample size and multicenter human study.
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Kyle J. Norton (Scholar, Master of Nutrition, All right reserved)
Health article writer and researcher; Over 10.000 articles and research papers have been written and published online, including worldwide health, ezine articles, article base, health blogs, self-growth, best before it's news, the karate GB daily, etc.,.
Named TOP 50 MEDICAL ESSAYS FOR ARTISTS & AUTHORS TO READ by Disilgold.com Named 50 of the best health Tweeters Canada - Huffington Post
Nominated for shorty award over last 4 years
Some articles have been used as references in medical research, such as international journal Pharma and Bioscience, ISSN 0975-6299.
(1) Neuroprotective effect of Cucumis melo Var. flexuosus leaf extract on the brains of rats with streptozotocin-induced diabetes by Ibrahim DS. (PubMed)
(2) Dementia - Types of Dementia by Kyle J. Norton
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