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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2014, Article ID 967462, 14 pages
Review Article

Evaluation of Traditional Medicines for Neurodegenerative Diseases Using Drosophila Models

Department of Biological Sciences, Konkuk University, Seoul 143-701, Republic of Korea

Received 4 October 2013; Revised 17 February 2014; Accepted 24 February 2014; Published 26 March 2014

Academic Editor: Chun Fu Wu

Copyright © 2014 Soojin Lee 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.


Drosophila is one of the oldest and most powerful genetic models and has led to novel insights into a variety of biological processes. Recently, Drosophila has emerged as a model system to study human diseases, including several important neurodegenerative diseases. Because of the genomic similarity between Drosophila and humans, Drosophila neurodegenerative disease models exhibit a variety of human-disease-like phenotypes, facilitating fast and cost-effective in vivo genetic modifier screening and drug evaluation. Using these models, many disease-associated genetic factors have been identified, leading to the identification of compelling drug candidates. Recently, the safety and efficacy of traditional medicines for human diseases have been evaluated in various animal disease models. Despite the advantages of the Drosophila model, its usage in the evaluation of traditional medicines is only nascent. Here, we introduce the Drosophila model for neurodegenerative diseases and some examples demonstrating the successful application of Drosophila models in the evaluation of traditional medicines.