Beneficial Effects of Herbal Extracts for Alzheimer’s Prevention and Treatment

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Sideritis scardica is being used as tea in the mountains of Greece since generations. In Greece, Bulgaria, Macedonia and other south European countries it is prescribed against liver and kidney diseases and linked to a reduced probability of stroke and myocardial infarction. Local physicians also report of a very low abundance of dementia patients in regions where these Sideritis teas are consumed regularly. We showed that a specific extract of this plant reduces Abeta load of AD mice significantly and improved their cognitive abilities. To increase the treatment benefit of Sideritis scardica, we are searching for the plants compounds that are causing the improvements.

Saint John´s wort (Hypericum perforatum) is widely distributed in Europe. It is commonly used for the treatment of mild depression. However, its effects and effectivity depend on the type of extraction that is used to produce the extracts pressed into tablets. As shown in the diagraph to the left, mice given the 80% ethanolic extract-powder were significantly better in memorizing the test than the other mice. Furthermore, in those mice no loss of neurons is detectable compared to non AD-mice. Using ABC transporter activity assays we were able to determine that the most active 80% extracts activate the ABC transporter C1 that has the largest effect on Abeta accumulation in the brain. Therefore, using the correct extraction method, Hypericum perforatum can also be a very beneficial drug for AD-patients.

* Project Links:

Read more … Leibniz SAW PhytoAD project

* Published Research Papers:

  • Sideritis spp. extracts enhance memory and learning in Alzheimer’s β-amyloidosis mouse models and aged C57Bl/6 mice.
    Journal of Alzheimer’s disease (2016)

    Hofrichter J, Krohn M, Schumacher T, Lange C, Feistel B, Walbroel B, Pahnke J
    May 31;53(3):967-80. PubMed PDF

  • Cerebral ABC transporters: Common mechanisms may modulate neurodegenerative diseases and depression in elderly.
    Arch Med Res (2014)

    Pahnke J, Fröhlich C, Krohn M, Paarmann K, Bogdanovic N, Årsland D, Winblad B
    45(8):738-43. PubMed

  • Alzheimer’s and ABC transporters – new opportunities for diagnostics and treatment.
    Neurobiol Dis (2014)

    Pahnke J, Langer O, Krohn M
    Dec 72 (2014) 54–60. PubMed

  • Reduced Alzheimer’s disease pathology by St. John’s wort treatment is independent of hyperforin and facilitated by ABCC1 and microglia activation in mice.
    Curr Alz Res (2013)

    Hofrichter J*, Krohn M*, Schumacher T, Lange C, Feistel B, Walbroel B, Heinze HJ, Crockett S, Sharbel TF, Pahnke J
    Dec 10(10):1057-69. PubMed PDF