23.09.2023 | Review
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and inflammation: natural product-derived treatments—a review of the last ten years
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Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a psychiatric disorder characterized by symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Stimulant medication is the main pharmacological treatment for ADHD. However, the traditional pharmacological treatments may have significant side effects; therefore, non-pharmacological approaches are needed. Thus, there has been growing interest in alternative herbal treatments. The aim of this review was to comprehensively assess the current evidence for plant-based treatment of ADHD in human and animal models, as well as their ability to modulate the inflammatory process.
This study was an integrative review of the current evidence for the plant-based treatment of ADHD. The research involved using literature available on PubMed and Scopus databases.
Spontaneously hypersensitive rats treated with baicalin exhibited significant reductions in locomotion, increased spatial learning skills, and increased levels of dopamine in the striatum. Supplementation with Sansonite improved memory and attention capacity. In human studies, Ginkgo biloba significantly improved the symptoms of inattention and reduced memory impairment. In studies conducted using Korean Red ginseng, Klamath, and Crocus sativus L., the patients showed significant improvements in symptoms of inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity. Furthermore, we demonstrated that the identified plants modulate the inflammatory process through pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines, nitric oxide, Th cells, Toll-like receptor 4, and mitogen-activated protein kinases.
All the studies included in this review focused on plants with demonstrated potential against inflammatory processes, positioning them as promising candidates for ADHD treatment, due to their potential to attenuate or even prevent neuroinflammatory mechanisms.