Apigenin is a novel drug found in many plants, including chamomile, parsley, celery, and peppermint. Scientists have recently investigated its therapeutic effects on cognition and brain chemistry in a mouse model of Down Syndrome. Pregnant mice were fed apigenin, and the baby mice were fed the drug after birth. When scientists compared them to untreated mice, they showed improved learning, more curiosity, and were better able to navigate a maze. The treated mice also had less inflammation in the brain and higher levels of antioxidants. Of note, male mice demonstrated more fearfulness when administered high doses of the substance. This study is encouraging, as apigenin has also been shown to have beneficial effects for the brain in mouse models for Parkinson’s disease and cognition problems following anesthesia. Therefore, it may prove effective for treating mild cognitive impairment in the future.
Faycal GF, et al. Apigenin as a candidate prenatal treatment for trisomy 21: effects in human amniocytes and the Ts1Cje mouse model. AJHG. 2020. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2020.10.001.