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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 250825, 9 pages
Review Article

Schisandrin B as a Hormetic Agent for Preventing Age-Related Neurodegenerative Diseases

Division of Life Science, The Hong Kong University of Science & Technology, Clear Water Bay, Hong Kong

Received 10 January 2012; Revised 24 February 2012; Accepted 6 March 2012

Academic Editor: Regina Menezes

Copyright © 2012 Philip Y. Lam and Kam Ming Ko. 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.


Oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction have been implicated in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases, with the latter preceding the appearance of clinical symptoms. The energy failure resulting from mitochondrial dysfunction further impedes brain function, which demands large amounts of energy. Schisandrin B (Sch B), an active ingredient isolated from Fructus Schisandrae, has been shown to afford generalized tissue protection against oxidative damage in various organs, including the brain, of experimental animals. Recent experimental findings have further demonstrated that Sch B can protect neuronal cells against oxidative challenge, presumably by functioning as a hormetic agent to sustain cellular redox homeostasis and mitoenergetic capacity in neuronal cells. The combined actions of Sch B offer a promising prospect for preventing or possibly delaying the onset of neurodegenerative diseases, as well as enhancing brain health.