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BioMed Research International
Volume 2016, Article ID 5012341, 9 pages
Review Article

A Review of Recent Advances in Neuroprotective Potential of 3-N-Butylphthalide and Its Derivatives

Department of Neurology, The Southeast University Affiliated Zhong Da Hospital, No. 87 Dingjiaqiao, Nanjing, Jiangsu Province 210009, China

Received 16 June 2016; Revised 30 October 2016; Accepted 1 November 2016

Academic Editor: Gjumrakch Aliev

Copyright © 2016 Idriss Ali Abdoulaye and Yi Jing Guo. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The research of alternative treatment for ischemic stroke and degenerative diseases has always been a priority in neurology. 3-N-Butylphthalide (NBP), a family of compounds initially isolated from the seeds of Apium graveolens Linn., has shown significant neuroprotective effects. Previous extensive studies have demonstrated that NBP promotes a better poststroke outcome and exerts a multitargeted action on several mechanisms, from oxidative stress to mitochondrial dysfunction to apoptosis to inflammation. Additionally, recent findings on several neurological disorders have shown that NBP’s beneficial effects extend beyond the management of stroke. However, despite the increasing number of studies toward a better understanding and the rapid advances made in therapeutic options, to date, dl-3-N-butylphthalide, a synthetic variation of l-3-N-butylphthalide, remains the only clinically approved anti-ischemic agent in China, stressing the difficulties for a viable and effective transition from experimental to clinical practice. Events indicate that NBP, due to its multitargeted effect and the adaptability of its basic structure, can be an important game changer and a precursor to a whole new therapeutic approach to several neurological conditions. The present review discusses recent advances pertaining to the neuroprotective mechanisms of NBP-derived compounds and the possibility of their clinical implementation in the management of various neurological conditions.