Targeting inflammatory pathways in Alzheimer's disease: a focus on natural products and phytomedicines
Sharman, MJ and Verdile, G and Kirubakaran, S and Parenti, C and Singh, A and Watt, G and Karl, T and Chang, D and Li, CG and Munch, G, Targeting inflammatory pathways in Alzheimer's disease: a focus on natural products and phytomedicines, CNS Drugs, 33, (5) pp. 457-480. ISSN 1172-7047 (2019) [Refereed Article]
Studies of the brains of Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients have revealed key neuropathological features, such as the deposition of aggregates of insoluble amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides and neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs). These pathological protein deposits, including Aβ peptides (which form senile plaques) and hyperphosphorylated tau (which aggregates into NFTs), have been assumed to be 'the cause of AD'. Aβ has been extensively targeted to develop an effective disease-modifying therapy, but with limited clinical success. Emerging therapies are also now targeting further pathological processes in AD, including neuroinflammation. This review focuses on the inflammatory and oxidative stress-related changes that occur in AD, and discusses some emerging anti-inflammatory natural products and phytomedicines. Many of the promising compounds are cytokine-suppressive anti-inflammatory drugs (CSAIDs), which target the proinflammatory AP1 and nuclear factor-κB signalling pathways and inhibit the expression of many proinflammatory cytokines, such as interleukin (IL)-1, IL-6, tumour necrosis factor-α, or nitric oxide produced by inducible nitric oxide synthase. However, many of these phytomedicines have not been tested in rigorous clinical trials in AD patients. It is not yet clear if the active compounds reach an effective concentration in the brain (due to limited bioavailability) or if they can slow down AD progression in long-term trials. The authors suggest that it is crucial for both the pharmacological and complementary medicine industries to conduct and fund those studies to significantly advance the field.