Neuro-protective Mechanisms of Lycium barbarum.
Neuromolecular Med. 2016 Mar 31. Epub 2016 Mar 31. PMID: 27033360
Neuronal diseases, including retinal disorders, stroke, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and spinal cord injury, affect a large number of people worldwide and cause heavy social and economic burdens. Although many efforts have been made by scientists and clinicians to develop novel drug and healthcare strategies, few of them received satisfactory outcomes to date. Lycium barbarum is a traditional homology of medicine and food in Chinese medicine, with the capability to nourish the eyes, liver and kidneys. Recent studies have also explored its powerful neuro-protective effects on a number of neuronal diseases. In the current review, we collected key recent findings regarding the neuro-protective effects and mechanisms of L. barbarum derivatives, primarily its polysaccharide (LBP) , in some common diseases of the nervous system. A comprehensive comparison with currently available drugs has also been discussed. In general, LBP is a promising neuronal protector with potent ameliorative effects on key pathological events, such as oxidative stress, inflammation, apoptosis and cell death with minimal side effects.