This paper summarizes the application of thin-layer chromatography coupled with biodetection for the search of substances characterized with properties relevant to the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. The main focus is on the screening of plant extracts for the presence of acetycholinesterase inhibitors as well as direct antioxidants, taking into account the cholinergic hypothesis of Alzheimers disease and oxidative stress theory of neurodegeneration. Practical aspects of performing TLC-bioassay tests are discussed and typical problems are addressed. Some practical hints are also given referring to the variety of compound classes that may be analyzed by means of these methods.
Keywords: Acetylocholinesterase inhibitors, biodetection, free radical scavengers, neurodegenerative diseases, thin-layer chromatography, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Ginkgo biloba, Salvia lavandulaefolia
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