Lycoris, the Basis of the Galanthamine Industry in ChinaXianmin Chang*
Royal Agricultural University, Cirencester, GL7 6JS, UK
- *Corresponding Author:
- Xianmin Chang
Royal Agricultural University,
Cirencester, GL7 6JS, UK.
E-mail: [email protected]
Received: 10 April 2014 Accepted: 22 June 2015 Published: 16 August 2015
Alzherimer’s disease is an age-related dementia with an estimated population of 44 million sufferers worldwide in 2013 and a number is expected to be 135 million in 2050. The patients exhibit a progressive decline in intellect including memory, learning, orientation, language, comprehension and judgement; they therefore need considerable care which has resulted in a heavy burden both on the health service and the patient family. Although the mechanism of Alzherimer’s disease is not very clear, clinical trials suggested that Galanthamine, one of the acetylcholinesterase inhibitors, can be used to slow the progression of the disease and mitigate many of the symptoms, and has a long-term positive effect on brain functional activities and cognitive stabilization. This in turn can improve quality of life, and allow patients to live more independently for longer. Galanthamine, an alkaloid compound, is obtained from the plants which belong to the family of Amaryllidaceae like Lycoris, daffodil and snowflake. This article however aims to provide a brief overview of the galanthamine industry in China using Lycoris. This article introduces the biology of Lycoris, resources and its distribution in China. Plant cultivation and propagation practices are reviewed and the alkaloids of Lycoris and galanthamine extraction techniques are summarized.