Alzheimers disease (AD) is a chronic neurodegenerative disorder and is the most common cause of progressive dementia in aging. Research on AD therapy has been partly successful in terms of developing symptomatic treatments, but there have been a number of failures with regard to developing disease-modifying therapies. The pathogenesis of AD remains unclear and the present one-drug, one-target paradigm for anti-AD treatment appears to be clinically unsuccessful. In many countries, traditional herbal medicines are used to prevent or treat neurodegenerative disorders, and some have been developed as nutraceuticals or functional foods. This review briefly introduces progress in the development of anti-AD treatments and then focuses on recent advances in the research, characteristics, and development of herbal medicines. Because AD arises via multiple pathological or neurotoxic pathways, herbal medicines have the potential to be developed into optimum pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals for AD because of their multi-function, multi-target characteristics.
Keywords: Alzheimer's disease, herbal medicine, drug development, nutraceuticals, acetylcholinesterase inhibitor, pathogenesis, butyrylcholinesterase, bapineuzumab, tolerability, hyperphosphorylated
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