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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 429505, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2011/429505
Research Article

Zingiber officinale Mitigates Brain Damage and Improves Memory Impairment in Focal Cerebral Ischemic Rat

1Department of Neuroscience Program, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen 40002, Thailand
2Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Naresuan University, Phitsanulok 65000, Thailand

Received 17 July 2009; Revised 20 June 2010; Accepted 27 October 2010

Copyright © 2011 Jintanaporn Wattanathorn et al. 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.

Abstract

Cerebral ischemia is known to produce brain damage and related behavioral deficits including memory. Recently, accumulating lines of evidence showed that dietary enrichment with nutritional antioxidants could reduce brain damage and improve cognitive function. In this study, possible protective effect of Zingiber officinale, a medicinal plant reputed for neuroprotective effect against oxidative stress-related brain damage, on brain damage and memory deficit induced by focal cerebral ischemia was elucidated. Male adult Wistar rats were administrated an alcoholic extract of ginger rhizome orally 14 days before and 21 days after the permanent occlusion of right middle cerebral artery (MCAO). Cognitive function assessment was performed at 7, 14, and 21 days after MCAO using the Morris water maze test. The brain infarct volume and density of neurons in hippocampus were also determined. Furthermore, the level of malondialdehyde (MDA), superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) in cerebral cortex, striatum, and hippocampus was also quantified at the end of experiment. The results showed that cognitive function and neurons density in hippocampus of rats receiving ginger rhizome extract were improved while the brain infarct volume was decreased. The cognitive enhancing effect and neuroprotective effect occurred partly via the antioxidant activity of the extract. In conclusion, our study demonstrated the beneficial effect of ginger rhizome to protect against focal cerebral ischemia.