Neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Parkinson's disease (PD) enforce an overwhelming social and economic burden on society. They are primarily characterized through the accumulation of modified proteins, which further trigger biological responses such as inflammation, oxidative stress, excitotoxicity and modulation of signalling pathways. In a hope for cure, these diseases have been studied extensively over the last decade to successfully develop symptom-oriented therapies. However, so far no definite cure has been found. Therefore, there is a need to identify a class of drug capable of reversing neural damage and preventing further neural death. This review therefore assesses the reliability of the neuroprotective benefits of epigallocatechin-gallate (EGCG) by shedding light on their biological, pharmacological, antioxidant and metal chelation properties, with emphasis on their ability to invoke a range of cellular mechanisms in the brain. It also discusses the possible use of nanotechnology to enhance the neuroprotective benefits of EGCG.
Keywords: Antioxidant; Cell signalling; EGCG; Iron chelator; Neurodegenerative diseases; Neuroprotection.