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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 386527, 11 pages
Review Article

Pleiotropic Protective Effects of Phytochemicals in Alzheimer's Disease

1Clinical Biochemistry and Clinical Molecular Biology Laboratory, Department of Health Sciences, University of Molise, 86100 Campobasso, Italy
2Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Institute of Human Virology, University of Maryland-School of Medicine, Baltimore MD 21201, USA

Received 10 February 2012; Accepted 27 March 2012

Academic Editor: Cristina Angeloni

Copyright © 2012 Sergio Davinelli 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.


Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a severe chronic neurodegenerative disorder of the brain characterised by progressive impairment in memory and cognition. In the past years an intense research has aimed at dissecting the molecular events of AD. However, there is not an exhaustive knowledge about AD pathogenesis and a limited number of therapeutic options are available to treat this neurodegenerative disease. Consequently, considering the heterogeneity of AD, therapeutic agents acting on multiple levels of the pathology are needed. Recent findings suggest that phytochemicals compounds with neuroprotective features may be an important resources in the discovery of drug candidates against AD. In this paper we will describe some polyphenols and we will discuss their potential role as neuroprotective agents. Specifically, curcumin, catechins, and resveratrol beyond their antioxidant activity are also involved in antiamyloidogenic and anti-inflammatory mechanisms. We will focus on specific molecular targets of these selected phytochemical compounds highlighting the correlations between their neuroprotective functions and their potential therapeutic value in AD.