Medical Radiation Countermeasures for Neuroprotection: Herbal Solutions, Evidences, and Challenges Therein
Neurotoxicity, nausea, vomiting, and behavioral alterations are severe side effects experienced by patients undergoing brain tumor radiotherapy, which arise due to radiation toxicity to the normal cells. Development of prophylactic drugs for countering radiation toxicity remains an unmet demand till date, world over. Incomplete understanding of complex mechanisms of radiation neurotoxicity is an essential limiting factor. Thousands of single molecule drugs failed due to their toxic effects, but plant extracts were found to be more efficacious with almost negligible toxicity. Significant radioprotective properties of a specific patented preparation (coded as SBL-1) from leaves of sea buckthorn [Hippophae rhamnoides L. (Elaeagnaceae)] were reported. A single dose of SBL-1, administered 30 min before total body 60Cobalt-gamma-irradiation (lethal dose 10 Gray), rendered survival of more than 90% mice population against zero survival in non-SBL-1 treated animals. This communication briefly summarizes the recent progress made in understanding the effects of SBL-1 on radiation-induced neuroprotection in rats at the therapeutic radiation dose (2Gray) and also the scope of developing SBL-1 as radiation countermeasure for human use.
This study was supported by the Government of India, Ministry of Defence, Defence Research and Development Organization under project INM-311/1.2/ST-P1-2009. The support provided by DIHAR, Leh, in collection of plant material is gratefully acknowledged.
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