Parkinson's disease is a neurodegenerative disorder for which no neurorestorative therapeutic treatment is currently available. Oxidative stress plays an important role in the pathophysiology of Parkinson's disease. The ancient Indian medical system, Ayurveda, traditionally uses Mucuna pruriens to treat Parkinson's disease. In our earlier studies, Mucuna pruriens has been shown to possess antiparkinson and neuroprotective effects in animal models of Parkinson's disease. The antioxidant activity of Mucuna pruriens was demonstrated by its ability to scavenge DPPH radicals, ABTS radicals and reactive oxygen species. Mucuna pruriens significantly inhibited the oxidation of lipids and deoxyribose sugar. Mucuna pruriens exhibited divalent iron chelating activity and did not show any genotoxic/mutagenic effect on the plasmid DNA. These results suggest that the neuroprotective and neurorestorative effect of Mucuna pruriens may be related to its antioxidant activity independent of the symptomatic effect. In addition, the drug appears to be therapeutically safe in the treatment of patients with Parkinson's disease.
Copyright (c) 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.