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Research Team of Associate Professor Mao Xiaoyuan and Professor Liu Zhaoqian Proposed Dietary Nutrition for Neurological Disease Therapy in the International Authoritative Journal Pharmacology & Therapeutics

On May 6, Associate Professor Mao Xiaoyuan and Professor Liu Zhaoqian from the Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Xiangya Hospital Central South University, in collaboration with Professor Jin Weilin from the First Hospital of Lanzhou University, published “Dietary nutrition for neurological disease therapy: Current status and future directions” in the international authoritative journal, Pharmacology & Therapeutics (Impact Factor: 11.79, ranking the 2nd in pharmacology). The paper systematically summarizes the research progress of dietary nutrition intervention in the treatment of the above neurological diseases and proposes a novel concept that dietary nutrient intervention reshapes metabolism-epigenetics-immunity cycle to remediate brain dysfunction. Associate Professor Mao Xiaoyuan is the first author of this paper, and Associate Professor Mao Xiaoyuan, Professor Liu Zhaoqian and Professor Wei-Lin Jin are the co-corresponding authors. The first author’s affiliation is Xiangya Hospital, Central South University.

Neurological diseases, including Alzheimers disease, Parkinsons disease, stroke, epilepsy, traumatic brain injury, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Huntingtons disease and multiple sclerosis, are characterized by high morbidity and mortality and high incidence disability. They have become major chronic diseases that seriously plague human beings. Especially with the aggravation of the aging problem in today’s society, the risk of developing these neurological diseases has increased. Despite some advances in clinical therapeutic interventions for neurological diseases (including pharmacological treatment, surgical resection and neurostimulation/neuromodulation), the treatment outcomes are far from satisfactory. In recent years, a growing number of clinical studies and epidemiological findings have showed that dietary nutrient intervention has potentials in the treatment of various neurological diseases.

It is known that dietary nutrient interventions mainly include two types of therapies, namely dietary supplement and dietary restriction. This paper systematically summarizes the progress of research on the clinical application of various dietary supplement strategies (including plant extracts, vitamins, amino acids, trace elements, dietary fiber, prebiotics and fatty acids) and dietary restriction strategies (including ketogenic diet, Mediterranean diet, DASH diet, MIND diet, Nordic diet, gluten-free diet, amino acid restriction therapy, and fasting therapy) in the eight neurological diseases mentioned above.

In January 2018, Associate Professor Mao Xiaoyuan and his fellow researchers published a paper on the related topic in Pharmacology & Therapeutics, which was “Live or let die: Neuroprotective and anti-cancer effects of nutraceutical antioxidants”. The paper described the classification of various nutraceuticals, and summarized the neuroprotective and anti-cancer mechanisms of nutraceuticals from cell signaling pathways, inflammation, and epigenetic modulation and apoptosis. Based on the differences in redox homeostasis between neurological diseases and cancers, the research team proposed for the first time that “nutraceuticals exerted neuroprotection by inhibiting ferroptosis and suppressed tumor growth by inducing ferroptosis”. These new ideas not only presented a comprehensive understanding of the relationship between dietary nutrition and neurological health, but also provided a theoretical basis for new strategies of dietary nutrition intervention and prevention of neurological diseases.

Associate Professor Mao Xiaoyuan is a supervisor of doctorate candidates and receives funding from Excellent Young Scientists Fund of Hunan Province. He is Deputy Director of Engineering Research Center of Applied Technology of Pharmacogenomics of the Ministry of Education, a member of the Division of Pharmacogenomics of the Chinese Pharmacological Society, Deputy Director of the Division of Neuropharmacology and Toxicology Committee of the Hunan Society for Neuroscience and a young member of the first editorial board of Chinese Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics. He has been devoted to clinical pharmacology and neuropsychopharmacology research for a long time. He has proposed for the first time in the world the “dual mode” mechanism of glioma-related epilepsy and discovered the use of lysyl oxidase as a new target for epilepsy treatment. He has presided over 3 projects of National Natural Science Foundation of China and over 20 projects of Hunan Provincial Excellent Young Scientists Fund. With the H index of 19, he has published more than 60 SCI papers in Pharmacology &Therapeutics (2 articles), Med Res Rev, etc. He has edited or participated in editing 5 textbooks and monographs, and served as a member of editorial board of Front Pharmacol and Molecules.

Professor Liu Zhaoqian is a supervisor of doctorate candidates, an expert who enjoys the special allowance of the State Council, a young and middle-aged expert who has made outstanding contributions to the country, the head of the innovation team of “Changjiang Scholars” of the Ministry of Education, a member of the first batch of “New Century Excellent Talent Support Program” of the Ministry of Education, and a distinguished professor of “Furong Scholar Program” of Hunan Province. He is currently Executive Director of the Chinese Pharmacological Society, Director-designate of the Division of Clinical Pharmacology of the Chinese Pharmacological Society, Chairman of the Hunan Provincial Pharmacological Society, and Chairman of the Division of Clinical Pharmacology of Hunan Medical Association. He is dedicated to pharmacogenomics and individualized therapy research in cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and malignant tumors. He has presided over 52 research projects under the National High Technology Research and Development Program of China (863 Program), National Science and Technology Major Project and National Natural Science Foundation of China. He has published 268 SCI papers in Molecular Cancer, Nucleic Acid Research, Clinical Cancer Research, Pharmacology &Therapeutics and other journals. He has received 21 awards, including the second prize of National Scientific and Technological Progress Award, the first prize of Chinese Medical Science and Technology Award, and the first prize of Natural Science Award of Hunan Province, etc. He has edited or participated in editing 23 textbooks and monographs, and received 5 national patents.

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