Neuropharmacological properties of Withania somnifera – Indian Ginseng: An overview on experimental evidence with emphasis on Clinical trials and patents.

Neuropharmacological properties of Withania somnifera – Indian Ginseng: An overview on experimental evidence with emphasis on Clinical trials and patents.

Recent Pat CNS Drug Discov. 2016 Jun 14;

Authors: Yenesetti SC, Manjunath MJ, Muralidhara C

Abstract
BACKGROUND Owing to the increasing aged population globally, disorders and diseases of the CNS are anticipated to increase and heavily impact the health care. As these neurodegenerative diseases (NDD) are complex, multifactorial and do not have identified etiological factors, unfortunately drugs developed for the purpose have not met with the expected success. Hence, there has been a constant demand for development of natural therapeutic adjuvants which are safe and possess the potential to attenuate multiple pathways.

METHODS Numerous herbal/natural products have been used as therapeutics in ayurvedic system of medicine to treat NDD and other memory related disorders. Withania somnifera (Aswgandha, WS), popularly called as “Indian Ginseng” is one such plant which possesses a variety of beneficial neuro-pharmacological properties. In this review, we have attempted to critically review the existing literature related to the neuroprotective efficacy of WS roots and the underlying mechanism/s.

RESULTS Standardized extracts of Withania somnifera have been demonstrated to possess multidimensional neuromodulatory effects in a variety of in vitro and experimental animal models. The spectrum of effects evidenced comprise of attenuation of oxidative damage by enhancing the antioxidant defense system with concomitant enhancement of the expression of marker proteins responsible for growth, differentiation and communication of neural cells. The wide range of effects of WS on neurotrophic factors, cytoskeletal elements, cell adhesion molecules and synaptic proteins clearly suggest its multipotent neuromodulatory attributes

CONCLUSION In order to realize the full therapeutic potential of WS extracts/its bioactives, systematic contemporary approaches such as bioinformatics, molecular docking studies, identification of specific gene targets as well as understanding the post-translational and epigenetic regulation of the various effects are necessary. Further, well designed clinical trials are required to exploit the neuromodulatory propensity of WS extract/bioactives in specific neurodegenerative diseases such as AD and PD.

PMID: 27316579 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]