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Special Issue "Phytochemicals with actions on the Central Nervous System"

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A special issue of Pharmaceuticals (ISSN 1424-8247).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 December 2009)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Sonia Tucci (Website)

School of Psychology, University of Liverpool, Eleanor Rathbone Building, Bedford Street South, Liverpool, L37 2LE, UK
Fax: +44 151 794 2945
Interests: behavioural neuroscience; psychopharmacology; neurochemical correlates of behaviour; mechanisms of appetite regulation; brain cannabinoid function in relation to appetite and body weight regulation

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The proposed special edition will focus on the positive effects of plants and plant extracts that possess action on the central nervous system (CNS). The effect of plant extracts as appetite regulators, adaptogens, stimulants, hallucinogens, analgesics, anxiolytics, antidepressants and neuroprotectors will be examined. The issue will include anatomical and functional interactions and it is going to focus in both behavioural as well as cellular mechanisms. The edition will start with a brief comment on the field and review of the main areas of research in which these interactions are under current investigation. Where possible clinical as well as basic experimental science will be included. These chapter headings and content are designed to appeal to the largest possible audience within this field (academic, industrial and clinical), but also to prevent overlap and repetition

Sonia Tucci, Ph. D.
Guest Editor

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Review

Open AccessReview The Health Effect of Psychostimulants: A Literature Review
Pharmaceuticals 2010, 3(7), 2333-2361; doi:10.3390/ph3072333
Received: 2 June 2010 / Accepted: 21 July 2010 / Published: 22 July 2010
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (248 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Prevalence of psychostimulant use is high, and raising in several countries. Nicotine is the legal stimulant causing the most important public health impact. Cocaine ranks among the most used illicit substances after cannabis. Stimulant medications are frequently misused. Psychostimulants can lead to [...] Read more.
Prevalence of psychostimulant use is high, and raising in several countries. Nicotine is the legal stimulant causing the most important public health impact. Cocaine ranks among the most used illicit substances after cannabis. Stimulant medications are frequently misused. Psychostimulants can lead to addiction, have physical, psychological and social health consequences and can induce a great disease burden. The aim of the present article is to provide a literature review on the health effects of stimulants as potential drugs of abuse. It will cover essentially cocaine, amphetamines and its derivatives (including methamphetamines and 3-4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, ecstasy), nicotine, caffeine and khat, and touch upon the issues of prescribed substances (anti-depressants, weight control medications, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder medications, hypersomniac disorder). Their pharmacology, addictive potential, health consequences and treatment will be discussed. We used Medline for the literature review from 1990 to the date of this review, and mention the findings of human and animal studies (the latter only if they are of clinical relevance). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phytochemicals with actions on the Central Nervous System)
Open AccessReview Phytochemicals in the Control of Human Appetite and Body Weight
Pharmaceuticals 2010, 3(3), 748-763; doi:10.3390/ph3030748
Received: 9 December 2009 / Revised: 10 March 2010 / Accepted: 19 March 2010 / Published: 22 March 2010
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (191 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Since obesity has grown to epidemic proportions, its effective management is a very important clinical issue. Despite the great amount of scientific effort that has been put into understanding the mechanisms that lead to overconsumption and overweight, at the moment very few [...] Read more.
Since obesity has grown to epidemic proportions, its effective management is a very important clinical issue. Despite the great amount of scientific effort that has been put into understanding the mechanisms that lead to overconsumption and overweight, at the moment very few approaches to weight management are effective in the long term. On the other hand, modern society is also affected by the growing incidence of eating disorders on the other side of the spectrum such as anorexia and bulimia nervosa which are equally difficult to treat. This review will try to summarise the main findings available in the literature regarding the effect of plants or plant extracts (phytochemicals) on human appetite and body weight. The majority of plant extracts are not single compounds but rather a mixture of different molecules, therefore their mechanism of action usually targets several systems. In addition, since some cellular receptors tend to be widely distributed, sometimes a single molecule can have a widespread effect. This review will attempt to describe the main phytochemicals that have been suggested to affect the homeostatic mechanisms that influence intake and body weight. Clinical data will be summarised and scientific evidence will be reviewed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phytochemicals with actions on the Central Nervous System)
Open AccessReview Effects of Adaptogens on the Central Nervous System and the Molecular Mechanisms Associated with Their Stress—Protective Activity
Pharmaceuticals 2010, 3(1), 188-224; doi:10.3390/ph3010188
Received: 14 December 2009 / Revised: 11 January 2010 / Accepted: 16 January 2010 / Published: 19 January 2010
Cited by 22 | PDF Full-text (275 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Adaptogens were initially defined as substances that enhance the “state of nonspecific resistance” in stress, a physiological condition that is linked with various disorders of the neuroendocrine-immune system. Studies on animals and isolated neuronal cells have revealed that adaptogens exhibit neuroprotective, anti-fatigue, [...] Read more.
Adaptogens were initially defined as substances that enhance the “state of nonspecific resistance” in stress, a physiological condition that is linked with various disorders of the neuroendocrine-immune system. Studies on animals and isolated neuronal cells have revealed that adaptogens exhibit neuroprotective, anti-fatigue, antidepressive, anxiolytic, nootropic and CNS stimulating activity. In addition, a number of clinical trials demonstrate that adaptogens exert an anti-fatigue effect that increases mental work capacity against a background of stress and fatigue, particularly in tolerance to mental exhaustion and enhanced attention. Indeed, recent pharmacological studies of a number of adaptogens have provided a rationale for these effects also at the molecular level. It was discovered that the stress—protective activity of adaptogens was associated with regulation of homeostasis via several mechanisms of action, which was linked with the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and the regulation of key mediators of stress response, such as molecular chaperons (e.g., HSP70), stress-activated c-Jun N-terminal protein kinase 1 (JNK1), Forkhead box O (FOXO) transcription factor DAF-16, cortisol and nitric oxide. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phytochemicals with actions on the Central Nervous System)
Open AccessReview Resveratrol: An Antiaging Drug with Potential Therapeutic Applications in Treating Diseases
Pharmaceuticals 2009, 2(3), 194-205; doi:10.3390/ph2030194
Received: 5 November 2009 / Revised: 2 December 2009 / Accepted: 10 December 2009 / Published: 15 December 2009
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (424 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The prevention of aging is one of the most fascinating areas in biomedicine. The first step in the development of effective drugs for aging prevention is a knowledge of the biochemical pathways responsible for the cellular aging process. In this context it [...] Read more.
The prevention of aging is one of the most fascinating areas in biomedicine. The first step in the development of effective drugs for aging prevention is a knowledge of the biochemical pathways responsible for the cellular aging process. In this context it seems clear that free radicals play a key role in the aging process. However, in recent years it has been demonstrated that the families of enzymes called sirtuins, specifically situin 1 (SIRT1), have an anti-aging action. Thus, the natural compound resveratrol is a natural compound that shows a very strong activation of SIRT1 and also shows antioxidant effects. By activating sirtuin 1, resveratrol modulates the activity of numerous proteins, including peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor coactivator-1α (PGC-1 alpha), the FOXO family, Akt (protein kinase B) and NFκβ. In the present review, we suggest that resveratrol may constitute a potential drug for prevention of ageing and for the treatment of several diseases due to its antioxidant properties and sirtuin activation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phytochemicals with actions on the Central Nervous System)

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