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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2016, Article ID 6075679, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/6075679
Review Article

The Role of Nigella sativa and Its Active Constituents in Learning and Memory

1Division of Biohealth Science, Institute of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
2Pharmacology Section, HEJ Research Institute of Chemistry, International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences, University of Karachi, Karachi 75270, Pakistan
3Division of Biology, Centre for Foundation Studies in Science, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Received 23 November 2015; Accepted 12 January 2016

Academic Editor: Giuseppe Caminiti

Copyright © 2016 Mohamad Khairul Azali Sahak 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

The loss of the ability for learning and memory is a prominent feature of dementia, which affects millions of individuals all over the world, due to either neurodegenerative diseases or brain injury. Although a lot of information is known about the pathology involved, treatment remains elusive at best. The Black Seed of Nigella sativa has been historically and religiously used for thousands of years for preventing and treating many different kinds of diseases. This review article looks at Nigella sativa and its potential role in facilitating learning and memory. The possible use of this seed’s extract or compounds isolated from it, such as thymoquinone, for treating damaged brain neural tissue is discussed. The evidence presented in this paper appears to be supporting the hypothesis that this plant and/or its bioactive constituents can enhance learning and memory in health and disease in animals and humans.