Anti-aging herbal medicine - How and why can they be used in aging-associated neurodegenerative diseases?

Author: Ho YS, So KF, Chang RC.
Laboratory of Neurodegenerative Diseases, Department of Anatomy, LKS Faculty of Medicine.
Conference/Journal: Ageing Res Rev.
Date published: 2009 Oct 12
Other: Word Count: 244

Aging is a universal biological process that leads to progressive and deleterious changes in organisms. From ancient time, mankind has already interested in preventing and keeping ourselves young. Anti-aging study is certainly not a new research area. Nowadays, the meaning of anti-aging has been changed from simply prolonging lifespan to increasing health span, which emphasizes more on the quality of life. This is the concept of healthy aging and prevention of pathological aging, which is associated with diseases. Keeping our brain functions as in young age is an important task for neuroscientists to prevent aging-associated neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer\'s diseases (AD) and Parkinson\'s disease (PD). The causes of these diseases are not fully understood, but it is believed that these diseases are affected by multiple factors. Neurodegenerative diseases can be cross-linked with a number of aging-associated conditions. Based on this, a holistic approach in anti-aging research seems to be more reasonable. Herbal medicine has a long history in Asian countries. It is believed that many of the medicinal herbs have anti-aging properties. Recent studies have shown that some medicinal herbs are effective in intervention or prevention of aging-associated neurological disorders. In this review, we use wolfberry and ginseng as examples to elaborate the properties of anti-aging herbs. The characteristics of medicinal herbs, especially their applications in different disease stages (prevention and intervention) and multi-targets properties, allow them to be potential anti-aging intervention in prevention and treatment of the aging-associated neurological disorders.