Fucoidan: a promising agent for brain injury and neurodegenerative disease intervention
Brain injury and neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis are urgent medical problems, which severely threaten the life quality of patients and their carers. However, there are currently no effective therapies. Fucoidan is a natural compound found in brown algae and some animals, which has multiple biological and pharmacological activities, such as antioxidant, anti-tumor, anti-coagulant, anti-thrombotic, immunoregulatory, anti-viral, and anti-inflammatory effects. A growing number of studies have shown that fucoidan also exerts a neuroprotective function. Particularly, recent findings have indicated that fucoidan could slow down the neurodegenerative processes and show protective effects against brain injury, which might be of therapeutic value for intervening in brain injury and neurodegenerative diseases. In this review, we have discussed the pharmacokinetics of fucoidan as well as the molecular mechanisms by which fucoidan exerts its neuroprotective effect on some neurological disorders. Along with this, we have also summarized the potential benefits of fucoidan in combination with other drugs in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases and brain injury. Although the extraction process of fucoidan has been improved well, more efforts should be devoted to the translational research and clinical trials of fucoidan in the near future.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Recent Review Articles