Originally Posted by wxxu
Besides Pueraria (葛根) you just wrote, there are some others mentioned in the book "Towards New Therapies for Parkinson's Disease", PP. 193 -
Scutellaria (黄芩) Scutellaria flavones isolated from Scutellaria baicalensis root exhibit strong neuroprotective effects on the brain and are not toxic in the broad range of tested doses. Their neuroprotective potential has been shown in both oxidative stress-induced and amyloid-beta and alpha-synuclein-induced neuronal death models. Baicalein, the main flavone present in Scutellaria baicalensis root, strongly inhibited aggregation of neuronal amyloidogenic proteins in vitro and induces dissolution of amyloid deposits. It exerts strong antioxidative and anti-inflammatory activities and also exhibits anti-convulsive, anxiolytic, and mild sedative actions. Importantly, baicalein, and also another flavone: oroxylin A, markedly enhanced cognitive and mnestic functions in animal models of aging brains and neurodegeneration. In the preliminary study, wogonin, another flavone from Scutellaria baicalensis root, has been shown to stimulate brain tissue regeneration, inducing differentiation of neuronal precursor cells. This concise review provides the main examples of neuroprotective activities of the flavones and reveals their potential in prevention and therapyof neurodegenerative diseases.
Rhizoma Anemarrhenae（知母 ）and Radix Astragali （黄芪）- elevates striatal GDNF levels and attenuates the loss of dopaminergic neurons (Visanji et al., 2008). These two are very popular and widely available in China.
Smilagenin is a compound extracted from Rhizoma anemarrhenae and Radix asparagi, medicinal herbs frequently used in the traditional Chinese medicine. A recent work shows that smilagenin, added prior to MPP+, protects cultured mesencephalic dopaminergic neurons against MPP+-induced toxicity. GDNF mRNA levels, but not those of GFRα1 or Ret, are markedly elevated in the presence of smilagenin. Moreover, the neuroprotective effect is partially lost in the presence of GDNF and/or GFRα1 antibodies (Y. Zhang et al., 2008). Oral administration of smilagenin to MPTP-lesioned mice elevates striatal GDNF levels and attenuates the loss of dopaminergic neurons (Visanji et al., 2008). Since smilagenin can be taken orally, readily crosses the blood-brain barrier, stimulates GDNF expression, and has neuroprotective effects in the MPTP mouse model of PD, hopefully it is a good candidate for the treatment of PD.
Catalpol (梓醇) extracted from Radix (fresh) Rehmannia glutinosa(生地黄) a traditional Chinese medicine herb frequently used in the therapy of dementia, induces GDNF gene expression in C6 cells and in primary cortical astrocytes (H. Yu et al., 2006). The stimulation of GDNF gene expression by Rehmannia glutinosa in C6 cells can be independently up-regulated through PKC and ERK1/2 pathways (H. Yu et al., 2006). Recently, the protective effect of catalpol, an active component extracted and purified from Rehmannia glutinosa was investigated in a chronic MPTP mouse model and in MPP+-treated
mesencephalic neurons. The oral administration of catalpol for 8 weeks dose-dependently improves locomotor ability, significantly elevates striatal dopamine levels and the number of TH-positive neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta, and the striatal DAT density. Interestingly, catalpol treatment also increases GDNF striatal levels, and both the number of
dopaminergic neurons and DAT density are positively correlated with GDNF levels (G. Xu et al., 2010). Moreover, catalpol protects cultured mesencephalic neurons against MPP+toxicity and up-regulates GDNF mRNA levels in neurons intoxicated with MPP+, but not in control cultures. Importantly, the protective effect of catalpol against dopaminergic
degeneration is abolished by the presence of the GDNF receptor tyrosine kinase Ret inhibitor 4-amino-5-(4-methyphenyl)-7-(t-butyl)-pyrazolo-[3,4-d]pyrimidine (G. Xu et al., 2010). Catalpol has antioxidant (Bi et al., 2008; Tian et al., 2007) and anti-apoptotic (Bi et al., 2009) effects, properties also displayed by GDNF (Saavedra et al., 2008), which suggest that GDNF up-regulation could be an essential step in catalpol-induced neuroprotection, but this is currently unknown.
All of above are among the most common CTMs in China and widely available in Extract Granules, tablet, IV. They are now used to treat other diseases traditionally but not PD in China...