Ginger has been reportedly used for the management or treatment of Alzheimer's disease in folklore medicine. Therefore, this study sought to investigate the inhibitory effects of water extractable phytochemicals of red and white ginger on acetylcholinesterase activities, and sodium nitroprusside (SNP) and quinolinic acid (QA)-induced lipid peroxidation in rat brain -in vitro. Both extracts inhibited acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activities in a dose-dependent manner; however, white ginger had higher acetylcholinesterase inhibitory activity than red ginger. Combination of the ginger inhibited acetylcholinesterase activities synergistically. Furthermore, SNP and QA caused a significant increase in the malondialdehyde (MDA) contents of the brain; however, the extracts significantly decrease the SNP and QA elevated brain MDA contents in a dose-dependent manner. Nevertheless, there was no significant difference (P>0.05) in the inhibition of the SNP and QA-induced lipid peroxidation by both extracts. The inhibitory effect of ginger extracts on acetylcholinesterase activities and some prooxidants induced lipid peroxidation in rat's brain could be attributed to the presence of phytochemicals such as flavonoids, tannins, alkaloids and terpenoids. Therefore, some possible mechanism by which ginger extracts exert anti-Alzheimer properties could be through the inhibition of acetylcholinesterase activities and prevention of lipid peroxidation in the brain.
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