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REVIEW
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 9  |  Page : 1494-1498

More than anti-malarial agents: therapeutic potential of artemisinins in neurodegeneration


1 Department of Ophthalmology, Eye Hospital, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing; Department of Ophthalmology, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Special Administration Region, China
2 State Key Laboratory of Brain and Cognitive Sciences; Center for Genomic Sciences, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine; Department of Psychiatry, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, Hong Kong Special Administration Region, China
3 Department of Ophthalmology, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong; State Key Laboratory of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, The University of Hong Kong; Center for Genomic Sciences, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, Hong Kong Special Administration Region; GHM Institute of CNS Regeneration, Jinan University, Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China
4 Department of Ophthalmology, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine; State Key Laboratory of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Special Administration Region, China
5 Department of Ophthalmology, Eye Hospital, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing, China

Correspondence Address:
Kin Chiu
Department of Ophthalmology, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Special Administration Region, China; State Key Laboratory of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Special Administration Region
China
Li-Ke Xie
Department of Ophthalmology, Eye Hospital, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing
China
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Source of Support: This work was supported by the Natural Science Foundation of Beijing of China, No. 7192235 (to LKX), Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1673-5374.255960

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Artemisinin, also called qinghaosu, is originally derived from the sweet wormwood plant (Artemisia annua), which is used in traditional Chinese medicine. Artemisinin and its derivatives (artemisinins) have been widely used for many years as anti-malarial agents, with few adverse side effects. Interestingly, evidence has recently shown that artemisinins might have a therapeutic value for several other diseases beyond malaria, including cancers, inflammatory diseases, and autoimmune disorders. Neurodegeneration is a challenging age-associated neurological disorder characterized by deterioration of neuronal structures as well as functions, whereas neuroinflammation has been considered to be an underlying factor in the development of various neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease. Recently discovered properties of artemisinins suggested that they might be used to treat neurodegenerative disorders by decreasing oxidation, inflammation, and amyloid beta protein (Aβ). In this review, we will introduce artemisinins and highlight the possible mechanisms of their neuroprotective activities, suggesting that artemisinins might have therapeutic potential in neurodegenerative disorders.


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