The Protective Effects of Natural Products on Blood-Brain Barrier Breakdown
K. M. Li,
G. Q. Li.
The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is a protective fence between the central nervous system and the systemic circulation, and is
essential for maintaining the normal homeostasis of the central nervous system. BBB breakdown is instigated in many neurological
disorders such as Alzheimer's disease and multiple sclerosis. Recent literature has advanced the knowledge on the physiology and
pathophysiology of BBB breakdown, including the attribution of detrimental inducers and signalling transduction cascades. Natural
products, such as flavonoids, phenolic compounds, terpenes, alkaloids, lipids and phthalides have been reported to attenuate many
neurological diseases by modulating the signalling transduction cascades associated with BBB breakdown. Understanding the activities
of these natural products through the molecular mechanisms associated with BBB breakdown will offer considerable scope in the
discovery and development of novel agents for preventing BBB breakdown and thus, the progression of neurological disorders.
Keywords: Blood-brain barrier, flavonoids, herbal medicines, natural products, neurological disorders, neuroprotection, phenolic compounds,
phytochemicals, vascular integrity, structure and activity relationship
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