Artemisinin and its derivatives, since their discovery by professor Tu Youyou in the early 1970s, have been the bedrock for the management of malaria globally. Recent works have implied that they could be used to manage other diseases including neurodegenerative disorders. Neurodegenerative disorders mainly occur in the adult population resulting from a progressive deterioration of neuronal structures. These include Parkinson’s disease (PD), Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Huntington’s disease (HD), and Multiple sclerosis (MS), among others. The PI3K/Akt signaling pathway plays a significant role in the central nervous system. It has been investigated extensively for its role in central nervous system physiological processes such as cell survival, autophagy, neuronal proliferation, and synaptic plasticity. Therefore, the modulation of this pathway will be crucial in the management of neurodegenerative disorders. This review seeks to compile most of the research findings on the possible neuroprotective role of artemisinins with special emphasis on their modulatory role on the PI3k/Akt pathway. A literature survey was conducted on PubMed, EBSCO, Web of Science, and EMBASE using the keyword artemisinins, and a total of 10,281 articles were retrieved from 1956 to 2022. Among these, 120 articles were examined using Mesh words like PI3k/Akt, neurodegeneration, and neuroinflammation coupled with boolean operators. Most research revealed that artemisinins could help neurodegenerative disorders by modulating the PI3k/Akt with subsequent inhibition of oxidative stress, neuroinflammation, and apoptosis. This paper illustrates that artemisinins could be repurposed as a neuroprotective agent.
© 2022. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.