Neurogenic traditional chinese medicine as a promising strategy for the treatment of alzheimer’s disease

Sravan Gopalkrishnashetty Sreenivasmurthy, Jing Yi Liu, Ju Xian Song, Chuan Bin Yang, Sandeep Malampati, Zi Ying Wang, Ying Yu Huang, Min Li

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Hippocampal neurogenesis plays a critical role in the formation of new neurons during learning and memory development. Attenuation of neurogenesis in the brain is one of the primary causes of dementia in Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and, conversely, modulating the process of hippocampal neurogenesis benefit patients with AD. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), particularly herbal medicine, has been in use for thousands of years in Asia and many regions of the world for the treatment of cancer, cardiovascular diseases and neurodegenerative diseases. In this review, we summarize the role of neurotrophic factors, signal transducing factors, epigenetic modulators and neurotransmitters in neurogenesis, and we also discuss the functions of several Chinese herbs and their active molecules in activating multiple pathways involved in neurogenesis. TCM herbs target pathways such as Notch, Wnt, Sonic Hedgehog and receptor tyrosine kinase pathway, leading to activation of a signaling cascade that ultimately enhances the transcription of several important genes necessary for neurogenesis. Given these pathway activating effects, the use of TCM herbs could be an effective therapeutic strategy for the treatment of AD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number272
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Neurogenesis
  • Traditional Chinese medicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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