Putative Roles of Plant-Derived Tannins in Neurodegenerative and Neuropsychiatry Disorders: An Updated Review

Molecules. 2019 Jun 13;24(12):2213. doi: 10.3390/molecules24122213.


Neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric diseases are characterized by the structural and functional abnormalities of neurons in certain regions of the brain. These abnormalities, which can result in progressive neuronal degeneration and functional disability, are incurable to date. Although comprehensive efforts have been made to figure out effective therapies against these diseases, partial success has been achieved and complete functional recovery is still not a reality. At present, plants and plant-derived compounds are getting more attention because of a plethora of pharmacological properties, and they are proving to be a better and safer target as therapeutic interventions. This review aims to highlight the roles of tannins, 'the polyphenol phytochemicals', in tackling neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases as well as neuropsychiatric disorders like depression. Among the multifarious pharmacological properties of tannins, anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cholinesterase activities are emphasized more in terms of neuroprotection. The current review also throws light on mechanistic pathways by which various classes of tannins execute neuroprotective effects. Despite their beneficial properties, some harmful effects of tannins have also been elaborated.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease (AD); Parkinson’s disease (PD); depression; neurodegenerative diseases (NDDs); neuropsychiatric diseases.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Neuroprotective Agents / chemistry*
  • Neuroprotective Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Neuropsychiatry
  • Parkinson Disease / drug therapy
  • Phytochemicals / chemistry
  • Phytochemicals / therapeutic use
  • Tannins / chemistry*
  • Tannins / therapeutic use*


  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • Phytochemicals
  • Tannins