NeuroMolecular Medicine

, Volume 18, Issue 3, pp 253–263 | Cite as

Neuro-protective Mechanisms of Lycium barbarum

  • Xiwen Xing
  • Fenyong Liu
  • Jia XiaoEmail author
  • Kwok Fai SoEmail author
Review Paper


Neuronal diseases, including retinal disorders, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and spinal cord injury, affect a large number of people worldwide and cause heavy social and economic burdens. Although many efforts have been made by scientists and clinicians to develop novel drug and healthcare strategies, few of them received satisfactory outcomes to date. Lycium barbarum is a traditional homology of medicine and food in Chinese medicine, with the capability to nourish the eyes, liver and kidneys. Recent studies have also explored its powerful neuro-protective effects on a number of neuronal diseases. In the current review, we collected key recent findings regarding the neuro-protective effects and mechanisms of L. barbarum derivatives, primarily its polysaccharide (LBP) , in some common diseases of the nervous system. A comprehensive comparison with currently available drugs has also been discussed. In general, LBP is a promising neuronal protector with potent ameliorative effects on key pathological events, such as oxidative stress, inflammation, apoptosis and cell death with minimal side effects.


Lycium barbarum LBP Neuro-protective Mechanisms 



J. X. and K. F. S. are the guarantors of this work and, as such, take responsibility for the integrity of the perspective provided. X. W. X. and F. Y. L. wrote the manuscript. J. X. and K. F. S. did the review/edit works.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

There are no potential conflicts of interests relevant to this article.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiotechnologyJinan UniversityGuangzhouChina
  2. 2.Department of Immunobiology, Institute of Tissue Transplantation and ImmunologyJinan UniversityGuangzhouChina
  3. 3.State Key Discipline of Infectious Diseases, Department of Infectious DiseasesShenzhen Third People’s HospitalShenzhenChina
  4. 4.GMH Institute of CNS Regeneration, Guangdong Medical Key Laboratory of Brain Function and DiseasesJinan UniversityGuangzhouChina
  5. 5.Department of Ophthalmology, State Key Lab of Brain and Cognitive SciencesThe University of Hong KongPokfulamHong Kong, SAR

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