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10/23/2018 Komentářů : 0


Neurodegeneration is characterised by a slow and gradual loss of nerve cells in specific regions of the brain and spinal cord. It represents pathological conditions of various neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Huntington’s disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The main causes of neurodegeneration at the cell and molecule level are oxidative stress, pathological accumulation of proteins, inflammation, impaired mitochondrial function, etc.1

Neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and many others represent a relevant global health problem associated with ageing. In recent years, considerable efforts have been invested to clarify the mechanism of neurodegenerative diseases and discover possible treatments to help slow the effects of ageing and prevent these diseases. Since the pathogenesis of these diseases includes many factors, it is important for neuroscientists to identify these factors and in this way prevent neurodegenerative diseases associated with age. None of the current therapies for these diseases are capable of provably slowing or stopping their underlying pathological processes. Polyphenol compounds, including flavonoids present in fruits and vegetables, are thought to have anti-ageing effects and reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases.2

Flavonoids provide plants with protection from external influences (UV radiation, parasites, viruses), regulate enzymes involved in cellular metabolism, and have antioxidant properties.1 

Knowledge of the preventive action of flavonoids in neurodegenerative diseases dates back to antiquity. Preclinical and clinical studies demonstrate the potential for beneficial effects of flavonoids on neurons. One of the best-studied mechanisms of the protective action of flavonoids in the brain tissue is the uptake of free radicals produced from impaired metabolism. Flavonoids are well known as electron-donating antioxidants, which eliminate reactive forms of oxygen and nitrogen.2

The ability to modulate the inflammatory response that is a part of neurodegenerative processes suggests the neuroprotective potential of flavonoids. Many studies have shown the intensive anti-inflammatory activity of quercetin within prevention of neuronal disease; in vivo studies have confirmed the neuroprotective effects of the flavanol rutinIn vitro studies have demonstrated that apigenin also carries an inhibitory effect on inflammatory markers and neuroprotective properties. The potential of epicatechin for the treatment of inflammation and prevention of neurodegenerative diseases is reported by other data. Epidemiological studies show the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of anthocyanins found in various fruits and vegetables. In addition, several studies describe the neuroprotective activity of anthocyanin extract in neurodegenerative diseases. These effects are described in other studies of flavonoid-rich extracts.1

There are new data showing the benefits of flavonoids for attention, working memory, and the speed of psychomotor processes in the general population.3                                                                                                 

Although there are limited data on the efficacy of flavonoids in the treatment of various diseases, there are a number of studies on animals and cell lines that provide a good basis for the use of these substances as therapeutic agents. Flavonoids are therefore clearly recommended as a further possible therapy for neurodegenerative diseases through a number of scientific studies – not only to eliminate free radicals, but also to modulate cell signalling pathways and anti-inflammatory effects at the neuronal level.2



1. Carmela Spagnuolo et al.; Anti-inflammatory effects of flavonoids in neurodegenerative disorders, EJMC 2017
2. Isha Solanki et al.; Neurodegenerative diseases: From available treatments to prospective herbal therapy, Neurochemistry International 2015
3. Lynne Bell et al.; A Review of the Cognitive Effects Observed in Humans Following Acute Supplementation with Flavonoids, and Their Associated Mechanisms of Action, Nutrients 2015



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