Plants used in the traditional medicine of Europe to treat memory dysfunction and/or to enhance memory were investigated for activity against the underlying mechanisms of Alzheimer's disease.
Aim of the study
To investigate 35 ethanolic extracts of plants, selected using an ethnopharmacological approach, for anti-amyloidogenic activity as well as an ability to inhibit the enzymatic activity of acetylcholinesterase.
Materials and methods
The anti-amyloidogenic activity of the extracts against amyloid beta was investigated by Thioflavin T fibrillation assays and the ability to inhibit the enzymatic activity of acetylcholinesterase was evaluated monitoring the hydrolysis of acetylthiocholine
Under the experimental conditions investigated, extracts of two plants, Carum carvi and Olea sylvestris, inhibited amyloid beta fibrillation considerably, eight plant extracts inhibited amyloid beta fibrillation to some extent, 16 plant extracts had no effect on amyloid beta fibrillation and nine extracts accelerated fibrillation of amyloid beta. Furthermore, five plant extracts from Corydalis species inhibited the enzymatic activity of acetylcholinesterase considerably, one plant extract inhibited the enzymatic activity of acetylcholinesterase to some extent and 29 plant extract had no effect on the enzymatic activity of acetylcholinesterase.
An optimal extract in this study would possess acetylcholinesterase inhibitory activity as well as anti-amyloidogenic activity in order to address multiple facets of Alzheimer's disease, until the molecular origin of the disease is unraveled. Unfortunately no such extract was found.