How Ginseng and Schisandra Work Together to Help Treat Alzheimer's Disease

Jenn Hoskins
11th June, 2024

How Ginseng and Schisandra Work Together to Help Treat Alzheimer's Disease

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • The study by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changchun, explored the effects of Radix ginseng and Schisandra chinensis (RS) on Alzheimer's disease (AD) in mice
  • RS treatment reduced hippocampal damage in AD mice, indicating its potential as an AD therapy
  • Researchers identified 28 biomarkers linked to AD, with RS influencing many of these, suggesting its broad impact on AD pathology
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a prevalent neurodegenerative condition that impairs cognitive function and mental capacity. Despite significant research efforts, effective treatments remain elusive due to the complex nature of the disease and challenges such as the blood-brain barrier[2]. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has long utilized herbal combinations to address various ailments, including dementia. Recent studies have focused on the combination of Radix ginseng and Schisandra chinensis (RS) for its potential therapeutic effects on AD. A new study conducted by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changchun, delves deeper into the mechanisms underlying the efficacy of RS using advanced techniques like air flow-assisted desorption electrospray ionization mass spectrometry imaging (AFADESI-MSI) and network pharmacology[1]. The study aimed to understand how RS affects the brain in an AD rodent model. Histopathological analysis revealed that RS could attenuate hippocampal damage in AD mice, suggesting its potential as an AD treatment. This finding aligns with previous research indicating that Schisandra chinensis contains bioactive lignans that can improve cognitive function and protect against neurodegenerative diseases[3]. Using spatial metabolomics analysis, the researchers identified 28 biomarkers intricately linked to neuroinflammation, neurotransmitter imbalance, energy deficiency, oxidative stress, and fatty acid metabolism—key factors in AD pathology. The total extract of RS (TE) influenced 22 of these biomarkers, while the small molecule components (SN) and large molecule components (PR) affected 19 and 14 biomarkers, respectively. Notably, nine small molecule components were identified as likely dominant in the pharmacodynamics of RS. The study also constructed a target interaction network, revealing relationships among 11 key biomarkers, 8 active ingredients, and 12 critical targets. This network illustrates the complex interplay of bioactive compounds in RS and their impact on AD-related pathways. This approach builds on earlier findings that identified metabolic pathways regulated by Radix ginseng-Schisandra chinensis, such as phenylalanine and tyrosine metabolism, tryptophan metabolism, and purine metabolism[4]. The findings from this study provide a comprehensive understanding of how RS works at a molecular level to mitigate AD symptoms. The use of advanced techniques like AFADESI-MSI and network pharmacology allows for a detailed spatial and functional mapping of the brain's response to RS treatment. This research not only supports the traditional use of RS in TCM but also opens new avenues for developing effective AD treatments based on herbal formulas. In summary, the study by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changchun, offers valuable insights into the mechanisms by which Radix ginseng and Schisandra chinensis exert their therapeutic effects on Alzheimer's disease. The use of modern analytical techniques has elucidated the complex interactions between bioactive compounds and AD-related biomarkers, paving the way for new treatment strategies that harness the power of traditional herbal medicine.



Main Study

1) Integrated spatial metabolomics and network pharmacology to explore the pharmacodynamic substances and mechanism of Radix ginseng-Schisandra chinensis Herb Couple on Alzheimer's disease.

Published 10th June, 2024

Related Studies

2) Evolving Role of Natural Products from Traditional Medicinal Herbs in the Treatment of Alzheimer's Disease.

3) Urinary and plasmatic metabolomics strategy to explore the holistic mechanism of lignans in S. chinensis in treating Alzheimer's disease using UPLC-Q-TOF-MS.

4) Mass spectrometry-based urinary metabolomics for exploring the treatment effects of Radix ginseng-Schisandra chinensis herb pair on Alzheimer's disease in rats.

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