Neurodegenerative diseases (ND) result from the gradual and progressive degeneration of the structure and function of the central nervous system or the peripheral nervous system or both. They are characterized by deterioration of neurons and/or myelin sheath, disruption of sensory information transmission and loss of movement control. There is no effective treatment for ND, and the drugs currently marketed are symptom-oriented, albeit with several side effects. Within the past decades, several natural remedies have gained attention as potential neuroprotective drugs. Moreover, an increasing number of studies have suggested that dietary intake of vegetables and fruits can prevent or delay the onset of ND. These properties are mainly due to the presence of polyphenols, an important group of phytochemicals that are abundantly present in fruits, vegetables, cereals and beverages. The main class of polyphenols is flavonoids, abundant in Citrus fruits. Our review is an overview on the scientific literature concerning the neuroprotective effects of the Citrus flavonoids in the prevention or treatment of ND. This review may be used as scientific basis for the development of nutraceuticals, food supplements or complementary and alternative drugs to maintain and improve the neurophysiological status.
Keywords: Citrus; flavonoids; neurodegeneration; neurodegenerative disorders; nutraceutical.