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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 3574012, 27 pages
Review Article

Plants-Derived Neuroprotective Agents: Cutting the Cycle of Cell Death through Multiple Mechanisms

1Department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria
2Pharmacognosy Research Laboratories and Herbal Analysis Services, University of Greenwich, Chatham-Maritime, Kent ME4 4TB, UK

Correspondence should be addressed to Solomon Habtemariam

Received 9 June 2017; Revised 14 July 2017; Accepted 18 July 2017; Published 22 August 2017

Academic Editor: Olumayokun A. Olajide

Copyright © 2017 Taiwo Olayemi Elufioye 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.


Neuroprotection is the preservation of the structure and function of neurons from insults arising from cellular injuries induced by a variety of agents or neurodegenerative diseases (NDs). The various NDs including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s diseases as well as amyotropic lateral sclerosis affect millions of people around the world with the main risk factor being advancing age. Each of these diseases affects specific neurons and/or regions in the brain and involves characteristic pathological and molecular features. Hence, several in vitro and in vivo study models specific to each disease have been employed to study NDs with the aim of understanding their underlying mechanisms and identifying new therapeutic strategies. Of the most prevalent drug development efforts employed in the past few decades, mechanisms implicated in the accumulation of protein-based deposits, oxidative stress, neuroinflammation, and certain neurotransmitter deficits such as acetylcholine and dopamine have been scrutinized in great detail. In this review, we presented classical examples of plant-derived neuroprotective agents by highlighting their structural class and specific mechanisms of action. Many of these natural products that have shown therapeutic efficacies appear to be working through the above-mentioned key multiple mechanisms of action.