Arecanut(Areca catechu L)decreasesAlzheimer’s disease symptoms: Compilation of research works
S Keshava Bhat, D Ashwin, S Mythri and Sukesh Bhat
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a common old age neurodegenerative disorder characterized mainly by memory loss and depression. Though there is no cure for this disorder, it could be treated symptomatically by proper medications. However, the chemical drugs, if taken in the long run, pose several side effects. Traditional medicines of plant origin are now increasingly popular in the treatment of several chronic diseases. Areca palm is one such medicinal plant with lots of pharmacological properties. The useful properties of this palm has been evaluated by several researchers. This nut is also found to be very effective in the treatment of AD. In this paper an attempt is made to compile the available literature on the role of arecanut in the management of AD. Several studies conducted on rodents confirmed that the arecoline, the major alkaloid of arecanut significantly increased acetylcholine by inhibiting Acetylcholine Esterase, the enzyme responsible for breaking down acetylcholine in the brain. The aqueous and crude extracts of arecanut were found more potent than chloroform, petroleum spirit, and ethyl acetate fractions in their inhibitory effects. Significant improvement in picture recognition was observed in AD patients after treatment with arecoline. The arecanut extract especially the dichloromethane fraction was reported to reduce depression in several animals.