Multitarget Drugs of Plants Origin Acting on Alzheimer's Disease
P. Russo, A. Frustaci, A. Del Bufalo, M. Fini and A. Cesario
Affiliation: Laboratory of Systems Approaches and Non Communicable Diseases, IRCCS "San Raffaele Pisana" Via di Valcannuta, 247, I-00166 Rome, Italy.
Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease, cholinergic system, crocus sativus, drug discovery and development, galantamine, ginkgo
biloba, huperzia serrata, multitargets, nicotine, nAChR, plant drug, salvia species, systems biology
The etiopathology of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is extremely complex and heterogeneous, often associated with
comorbidities. As a result it may be unlikely that AD may be mitigated by drug acting on a single specific target. The current
tendency in drug design and discovery in AD is the rational design or “serendipitous” discovery of new drug entities
challenging multiple targets. Since two of the presently approved drugs for AD are based on natural products (galantamine
and the physostigmine-derivative rivastigmine), many plants are now under investigation as a potential source of new
drugs. Multifunctional drugs often have their origin in natural sources. This review is limited to plant chemicals having
different targets with actual (galantamine) or promising (drugs from Crocus sativus, Ginkgo biloba, Salvia species, and
Huperzia serrata) clinical evidence in people with dementia or AD.
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