Background: The incidence of dementia is increasing as the aging population of the
world is increasing. Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder of the central
nervous system. There are presently 7.3 million patients of AD and the number may rise to 34
million at this pace in the coming thirty years. In the disease, the level of Acetylcholine is reduced
and as a result, causes the loss of cholinergic neurons in the brain. The disease is less common in
Asian countries as compared to the western nations of the world. This work aimed to establish the
role of the common medicinal and food plants against Alzheimer's.
Methods: The enzyme acetylcholinesterase (AChE) is the enzyme responsible for hydrolysis and
reduction of Acetylcholine. The anti-acetylcholinesterase activity of different extracts of three local
plants used as spices in the daily food, Curcuma longa, Cinnnamomum tamala, and Zingiber
officinale, was determined using the Microplate Assay method.
Results: The phytochemical study of the selected plants revealed the presence of alkaloids,
terpenes, flavones, saponins, and tannins in these plants. The chloroform extract of all the three
plants presented promising AChE inhibiting activity having IC50 >200μg/ml. A probable reason
will be the alkaloids and terpenes present in the chloroform extract.
Conclusion: The chloroform extract of all three plants presented promising AChE inhibiting
activity and can become a reasonable therapy for the cure/prevention of Alzheimer's disease. The
frequent use of these spices may be a possible reason for the fever incidence of Alzheimer's in
Asian countries. Further in vivo studies are required to find its action and studies to find the exact
compound responsible for the action.