Of all types of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease is the type that has the highest proportion of cases and is the cause of substantial medical and economic burden. The mechanism of Alzheimer’s disease is closely associated with the aggregation of amyloid-β protein and causes neurotoxicity and extracellular accumulation in the brain and to intracellular neurofibrillary tangles caused by tau protein hyperphosphorylation in the brain tissue. Previous studies have demonstrated that sirtuin1 downregulation is involved in the pathological mechanism of Alzheimer’s disease. The decrease of sirtuin1 level would cause Alzheimer’s disease by means of promoting the amyloidogenic pathway to generate amyloid-β species and thereby triggering amyloid-β cascade reaction, such as tau protein hyperphosphorylation, neuron autophagy, neuroinflammation, oxidative stress, and neuron apoptosis. Currently, there is no effective treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, it is necessary to develop new treatment strategies. According to the theory of traditional Chinese medicine and based on the mechanism of the disease, tonifying the kidneys is one of the principles for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and Epimedium is a well-known Chinese medicine for tonifying kidney. Therefore, investigating the influence of the components of Epimedium on the pathological characteristics of Alzheimer’s disease may provide a reference for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease in the future. In this article, we summarise the effects and mechanism of icariin, the main ingredient extracted from Epimedium, in ameliorating Alzheimer’s disease by regulating sirtuin1 to inhibit amyloid-β protein and improve other amyloid-β cascade pathogenesis.
Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier B.V.