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Special Issue "Natural Products in Alzheimer’s Disease Drug Discovery"

A special issue of Molecules (ISSN 1420-3049). This special issue belongs to the section "Natural Products Chemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2019

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Solomon Habtemariam

University of Greenwich, Herbal Analysis Services UK, Greenwich, United Kingdom
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Natural products chemistry; pharmacology; drug discovery; pharmacognosy.

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Despite over 50 years of intense drug discovery research on Alzheimer’s disease (AD), only four drugs of choices are currently available for its therapy: three acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitors (donepezil, rivastigmine and galantamine) and one memantine which is the N-Methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) antagonist. These drugs, developed over a decade ago, offer limited symptomatic relief while also causing numerous side effects. The frustration of drug discovery research for AD has further been evident in recent years from the high profile failure of late-stage clinical trials by big pharmaceutical companies for drug candidates that showed lots of promise in experimental models. In parallel with this tragedy, the economic and social costs of AD and dementia in general have only increased. In 2017, the estimated number of global dementia patients was 50 million people, while the projected estimate for 2030 and 2045 is around 82 million and 152 million, respectively. There is clearly a large faultline in the way we understand AD pathology and in the experimental models we employ to represent human pathology and our therapeutic approaches. It is against this background that this Special Issue was designed to underpin the pivotal role of natural products in drug discovery for human diseases. On this note, one of the existing anti-AD drugs, galantamine, was itself discovered from the common snowdrop plant, Galanthus nivalis. In many experimental models, the therpeutic potential of numerous natural products, both crude preparations and isolated compounds, have shown pharmacological efficacy not lower than the existing drugs. This include effects through unique biological targets (receptors, enzymes, ion chanelles, etc.) or multiple mechansims ranging from general antioxidants and antiinflammatory mechanisms, to neuroprotection and neuroregeneration processes. Insights into AD therapy using natural products in the form of original research articles or reviews in all areas of AD pathology, experimental designs and therapeutic approaches are welcome.

Prof. Solomon Habtemariam
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Molecules is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Dementia
  • Cholinergic hypothesis
  • Amyloid hypothesis
  • Natural products
  • Drug discovery
  • Monotherapy vs multitarget approach
  • Polytherapy vs single chemical entity
  • Experimental models of dementia
  • Clinical trials of Alzheimer’s disease
  • Novel bioassays for cognitive disorders

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessFeature PaperReview Natural Products in Alzheimer’s Disease Therapy: Would Old Therapeutic Approaches Fix the Broken Promise of Modern Medicines?
Molecules 2019, 24(8), 1519; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24081519
Received: 2 April 2019 / Revised: 15 April 2019 / Accepted: 16 April 2019 / Published: 17 April 2019
PDF Full-text (924 KB)
Despite extensive progress in understanding the pathology of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) over the last 50 years, clinical trials based on the amyloid–beta (Aβ) hypothesis have kept failing in late stage human trials. As a result, just four old drugs of limited clinical outcomes [...] Read more.
Despite extensive progress in understanding the pathology of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) over the last 50 years, clinical trials based on the amyloid–beta (Aβ) hypothesis have kept failing in late stage human trials. As a result, just four old drugs of limited clinical outcomes and numerous side effects are currently used for AD therapy. This article assesses the common pharmacological targets and therapeutic principles for current and future drugs. It also underlines the merits of natural products acting through a polytherapeutic approach over a monotherapy option of AD therapy. Multi-targeting approaches through general antioxidant and anti-inflammatory mechanisms coupled with specific receptor and/or enzyme-mediated effects in neuroprotection, neuroregeneration, and other rational perspectives of novel drug discovery are emphasized. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products in Alzheimer’s Disease Drug Discovery)

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