Neurodegenerative diseases: From available treatments to prospective herbal therapy

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Neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and many others represent a relevant health problem with age worldwide. Efforts have been made in recent years to discover the mechanism of neurodegenerative diseases and prospective therapy that can help to slow down the effects of the aging and prevent these diseases. Since pathogenesis of these diseases involves multiple factors therefore the important task for neuroscientists is to identify such multiple factors and prevent age-associated neurodegenerative diseases. For these neurodegenerative diseases yet we have only palliative therapies and none of them significantly capable to slow down or halt the underlying pathology. Polyphenolic compounds such as flavonoids present in vegetables and fruits are believed to have anti-aging properties and reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases. Despite their abundance, investigations into the benefits of these polyphenolic compounds in human health have only recently begun. Preclinical and clinical studies have demonstrated the potential beneficial effects of flavonoids in neurons. Although clinical trials on the effectiveness of dietary flavonoids to treat human diseases are limited but various animal models and cell culture studies have shown a great promise in developing these compounds as suitable therapeutic targets. In this review, we elaborate the neuroprotective properties of flavonoids especially their applications in prevention and intervention of different neurodegenerative diseases. Their multi-target properties may allow them to be potential dietary supplement in prevention and treatment of the age-associated neurodegenerative diseases.

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