HupA is a potent, reversible and selective inhibitor of AChE with a rapid absorption and penetration into the brain in animal tests. It exhibits memory-enhancing activities in animal and clinical trials. Compared to tacrine and donepezil, HupA possesses a longer duration of action and higher therapeutic index, and the peripheral cholinergic side effects are minimal at therapeutic doses. This review article deals with a comprehensive survey of the progress in chemical and pharmacological studies of HupA including the isolation and structure elucidation, pharmacological actions, total synthesis, SAR studies and the future development of HupA. Recently, it has been reported that HupA could reduce neuronal cell death caused by glutamate. The dual bio-activities of HupA would further enhance its value and potentiality as the therapeutic agent for Alzheimer s disease.