Schisandra chinensis Fructus and Its Active Ingredients as Promising Resources for the Treatment of Neurological Diseases

Neurological diseases (NDs) are a leading cause of death worldwide and tend to mainlyaffect people under the age of 50. High rates of premature death and disability caused by NDs undoubtedly constrain societal development. However, effective therapeutic drugs and methods are very limited. Schisandra chinensis Fructus (SCF) is the dry ripe fruit of Schisandra chinensis (Turcz.) Baill, which has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years. Recent research has indicated that SCF and its active ingredients show a protective role in NDs, including cerebrovascular diseases, neurodegenerative diseases, or depression. The key neuroprotective mechanisms of SCF and its active ingredients have been demonstrated to include antioxidation, suppression of apoptosis,anti-inflammation, regulation of neurotransmitters, and modulation of brain-derived neurotrophicfactor (BDNF) related pathways. This paper summarizes studies of the role of SCF and its active ingredients in protecting against NDs, and highlights them as promising resources for future treatment. Furthermore, novel insights on the future challenges of SCF and its active ingredient sare offered.