In the rush for green gold: Can green tea delay age-progressive brain neurodegeneration?
Recent Pat CNS Drug Discov. 2012 Dec ;7(3):205-17. PMID: 22742421
Silvia A Mandel
It is evident that brain aging engages changes in biological systems linked to synaptic function and cell metabolism and in the capacity to cope with different stresses that are either idiopathic in nature, or subject to environmental insults. In a substantial segment of the aging population there is a pathological transition to cognitive and behavioral dysfunction and thus, age constitutes the primary risk factor for Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders. To address the etiological complexity of aging and age-associated conditions, a new paradigm gaining increasing acceptance considers the use of multi-targeted ligands or combination of drugs to modulate several targets at once. During the past years intensive efforts are dedicated to the implementation of life style habits such as exercise and dietary compounds/supplements in combination with symptomatic treatment drugs to improve age-related cognitive decline and to attenuate motor and neurological dysfunction in neurodegenerative diseases. The catechin polyphenols constituents of green tea, which were for long time regarded merely as dietary antioxidants, have caught our and other scientist's attention because of their diverse pharmacological activities, which have been allied to a possible beneficial action on brain health. This review will elaborate on the impact of nutritional supplementation on brain function in general, and provide a compilation of the most updated literature on epidemiology, clinical and animal studies with green tea polyphenols in age-associated cognitive decline and in fighting neurodegenerative diseases. To conclude, a future perspective on the utility and assigned patents with green tea constituents will be presented.