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Front Aging Neurosci. 2018 Feb 9;10:16. doi: 10.3389/fnagi.2018.00016. eCollection 2018.

Dissecting the Potential Roles of Nigella sativa and Its Constituent Thymoquinone on the Prevention and on the Progression of Alzheimer's Disease.

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Division of Anesthesia and Pain Medicine, Istituto Nazionale Tumori, IRCCS Fondazione G. Pascale, Naples, Italy.
S.S.D. Sperimentazione Animale, Istituto Nazionale Tumori, IRCCS Fondazione G. Pascale, Naples, Italy.
Division of Infantile Neuropsychiatry, UOMI-Maternal and Infant Health, Naples, Italy.
Pineta Grande Hospital, Caserta, Italy.
Experimental Pharmacology Laboratory, IRCCS Istituto Tumori Giovanni Paolo II, Bari, Italy.


Several nutraceuticals have been investigated for preventing or retarding the progression of different neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease (AD). Because Nigella sativa (NS) and its isolated compound thymoquinone (TQ) have significant anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory proprieties, they could represent effective neuroprotective agents. The purpose of this manuscript is to analyze and to recapitulate the results of in vitro and in vivo studies on the potential role of NS/TQ in AD's prevention and treatment. The level of evidence for each included animal study has been assessed by using a modified CAMARADES (Collaborative Approach to Meta-Analysis and Review of Animal Data from Experimental Studies) 10-item checklist. We used MEDLINE and EMBASE databases to screen relevant articles published up to July 2017. A manual search was also performed. The database search yielded 38 studies, of which 18 were included in this manuscript. Results from these approaches suggest that NS or TQ could represent an effective strategy against AD due to the balancing of oxidative processes and the binding to specific intracellular targets. The overall effects mainly regard the prevention of hippocampal pyramidal cell loss and the increased cognitive functions.


Alzheimer's disease; Nigella sativa; natural compounds; oxidative stress; thymoquinone

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