Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a chronic neurodegenerative brain disease that is characterized by impairment in cognitive functioning as well as the presence of intraneuronal neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) and extracellular senile plaques. There is a growing interest in the potential of phytochemicals to improve memory, learning, and general cognitive abilities. The Malaysian herb Orthosiphon stamineus
is a traditional remedy that possesses anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and free-radical scavenging abilities, all of which are known to protect against AD. Previous studies have reported that intracerebroventricular (ICV) administration of streptozotocin (STZ) mimics a condition similar to that observed in AD. This experiment thus aimed to explore if an ethanolic leaf extract of O. stamineus
has the potential to be a novel treatment for AD in a rat model and can reverse the STZ- induced learning and memory dysfunction. The results of this study indicate that O. stamineus
has the potential to be potentially effective against AD-like condition, as both behavioral models employed in this study was observed to be able to reverse memory impairment. Treatment with the extract was able to decrease the up-regulated expression levels of amyloid precursor protein (APP), microtubule associated protein tau (MAPT), Nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NFᴋB), glycogen synthase kinase 3 alpha (GSK3α), and glycogen synthase kinase 3 beta (GSK3β) genes indicating the extract’s neuroprotective ability. These research findings suggest that the O. stamineus
ethanolic extract demonstrated an improved effect on memory, and hence, could serve as a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases such as AD.
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