Neuroprotective and Cognitive Enhancement Potentials of Baicalin

Neurodegenerative diseases are a heterogeneous group of disorders that are characterized by the gradual loss of neurons. The development of effective neuroprotective agents to prevent and control neurodegenerative diseases is specifically important. Recently, there has been an increasing interest in selecting flavonoid compounds as potential neuroprotective agents, owing to their high effectiveness with low side effects. Baicalin is one of the important flavonoid compounds, which is mainly isolated from the root of Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi (an important Chinese medicinal herb). In recent years, a number of studies have shown that baicalin has a potent neuroprotective effect in various in vitro and in vivo models of neuronal injury. In particular, baicalin effectively prevents neurodegenerative diseases through various pharmacological mechanisms, including antioxidative stress, anti-excitotoxicity, anti-apoptotic, anti-inflammatory, stimulating neurogenesis, promoting the expression of neuronal protective factors, etc. This review mainly focuses on the neuroprotective and cognitive enhancement effects of baicalin. The aim of the present review is to compile all information in relation to the neuroprotective and cognitive enhancement effects of baicalin and its molecular mechanisms of action in various in vitro and in vivo experimental models.