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Current Vascular Pharmacology


ISSN (Print): 1570-1611
ISSN (Online): 1875-6212

Review Article

Rhizoma Coptidis for Alzheimer’s Disease and Vascular Dementia: A Literature Review

Author(s): Zhiyong Wang, Yang Yang, Meixia Liu, Yun Wei, Jiangang Liu, Hui Pei and Hao Li*

Volume 18, Issue 4, 2020

Page: [358 - 368] Pages: 11

DOI: 10.2174/1570161117666190710151545

Price: $65


Background: Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and vascular dementia (VaD) are major types of dementia, both of which cause heavy economic burdens for families and society. However, no currently available medicines can control dementia progression. Rhizoma coptidis, a Chinese herbal medicine, has been used for >2000 years and is now gaining attention as a potential treatment for AD and VaD.

Methods: We reviewed the mechanisms of the active ingredients of Rhizoma coptidis and Rhizoma coptidis-containing Chinese herbal compounds in the treatment of AD and VaD. We focused on studies on ameliorating the risk factors and the pathological changes of these diseases.

Results: The Rhizoma coptidis active ingredients include berberine, palmatine, coptisine, epiberberine, jatrorrhizine and protopine. The most widely studied ingredient is berberine, which has extensive therapeutic effects on the risk factors and pathogenesis of dementia. It can control blood glucose and lipid levels, regulate blood pressure, ameliorate atherosclerosis, inhibit cholinesterase activity, Aβ generation, and tau hyperphosphorylation, decrease neuroinflammation and oxidative stress and alleviate cognitive impairment. Other ingredients (such as jatrorrhizine, coptisine, epiberberine and palmatine) also regulate blood lipids and blood pressure; however, there are relatively few studies on them. Rhizoma coptidis-containing Chinese herbal compounds like Huanglian-Jie-Du-Tang, Huanglian Wendan Decoction, Banxia Xiexin Decoction and Huannao Yicong Formula have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant stress activities, regulate insulin signaling, inhibit γ-secretase activity, neuronal apoptosis, tau hyperphosphorylation, and Aβ deposition, and promote neural stem cell differentiation, thereby improving cognitive function.

Conclusion: The “One-Molecule, One-Target” paradigm has suffered heavy setbacks, but a “multitarget- directed ligands” strategy may be viable. Rhizoma coptidis active ingredients and Rhizoma coptidiscontaining Chinese herbal compounds have multi-aspect therapeutic effects on AD and VaD.

Keywords: Rhizoma coptidis, Chinese herbal medicine, berberine, Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia, mental disease.

Graphical Abstract
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