GINGER is used in Nigerian folk medicine to manage colds, pain, arthritis, vomiting and nausea. Beyond all these, ginger has promising benefits that may reduce cognitive deficits, brain cell loss, and seizure severity in individuals with epilepsy.
In a new study, researchers said that ginger may be used as supplements to antiepileptic drugs to potentiate their effectiveness with tolerable side effects. Ginger alone did not affect seizure severity but as a supplement with Sodium Valproate, an antiepileptic drug, it can significantly improve learning performance and protect against brain cell loss.
Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that affects people of all ages. According to World Health Organization, globally about 2.4 million people are diagnosed with epilepsy annually. This debilitating neurological disorder is often accompanied by cognitive deficits affecting attention, language, memory, and executive functions and adversely affects the quality of life of the patients and their families.
Although epilepsy is a treatable condition, over 75% of the patients from low-income populations around the world do not receive any treatment. Therefore, new antiepileptic medications with high efficacy and a more tolerable side-effect profile need to be developed and made available in low-income countries.
Recent preclinical studies showed that ginger extract might also be useful in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive impairment. The chemical constituents of ginger, specifically, -gingerol, -gingerol, and -shogaol can penetrate the blood-brain barrier, suggesting that these substances might contribute to the effects of ginger extracts on the central nervous system.
The researchers had determined whether chronic administration of aqueous extract of ginger alone (GE) or in combination with SDV can ameliorate seizure severity, cognitive impairments, and brain cell loss in animal models with epilepsy.
These male mice were pretreated with ginger extract, Sodium Valproate (100 and 200 mg/kg), and a mixture of ginger extract and Sodium Valproate. Control animals received the same number of saline solution injections.
Afterwards, the mice underwent a learning performance test. Their brains were also excised and the hippocampi isolated from them for studies. It was in the journal, OBM Integrative and Complementary Medicine.