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ISSN : 1738-0294(Print)
ISSN : 2288-8853(Online)
Journal of Mushrooms Vol.12 No.2 pp.77-81

A comprehensive review of the therapeutic effects of Hericium erinaceus in neurodegenerative disease

Young Ock Kim*, Sang Won Lee and Jin Seong Kim
Herbal Crop Utilization Research Team, Department of Medicinal Crop Research, National Institute of Horticultural & Herbal Science, Rural Development Administration, Eumseong 369-873, Republic of Korea
Received June 18, 2014, Revised June 20, 2014, Accepted June 25, 2014


Mushrooms are considered not only as food but also for source of physiologically beneficial medicines. The culinarymedicinalmushrooms may important role in the prevention of age-associated neurological dysfunctions, including Alzheimer’s andParkinson’s diseases. Hericium erinaceus (H. erinaceus), is edible mushrooms, is a parasitic fungus that grows hanging off of logs andtrees and well established candidate for brain and nerve health. H. erinaceus contains high amounts of antioxidants, beta-glucan,polysaccharides and a potent catalyst for brain tissue regeneration and helps to improve memory and cognitive functions. Its fruitingbodies and the fungal mycelia exhibit various pharmacological activities, including the enhancement of the immune system,antitumor, hypoglycemic and anti-aging properties. H. erinaceus stimulates the synthesis of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) which is theprimary protein nutrient responsible for enhancing and repairing neurological disorders. Especially hericenones and erinacinesisolated from its fruitin body stimulate NGF, synthesis. This fungus is also utilized to regulate blood levels of glucose, triglycerides andcholesterol. H. erinaceus can be considered as useful therapeutic agents in the management and/or treatment of neurodegenerationdiseases. However, this review focuses on in vitro, in vivo and clinical trials for neurodegerative disease.