Dr. Weeks Comment: Neurologists the world over are finally turning to venoms as powerful medications. Having founded the American Apitherapy Society almost 30 years ago, I have dedicated myself to teaching my medical colleagues about the scientifically proven benefits of venoms – a biologically potent substance which, when use deftly, creates powerful medicinal effects. Remember: Poison is a matter of Dosage.
Pharmacological Alternatives for the Treatment of Neurodegenerative Disorders: Wasp and Bee Venoms and Their Components as New Neuroactive Tools
Toxins 2015, 7, 3179-3209; doi:10.3390/toxins7083179 www.mdpi.com/journal/toxins
Review Author: Juliana Silva et al Published: 18 August 2015
Abstract: Neurodegenerative diseases are relentlessly progressive, severely impacting affected patients, families and society as a whole. Increased life expectancy has made these diseases more common worldwide. Unfortunately, available drugs have insufficient therapeutic effects on many subtypes of these intractable diseases, and adverse effects hamper continued treatment. Wasp and bee venoms and their components are potential means of managing or reducing these effects and provide new alternatives for the control of neurodegenerative diseases. These venoms and their components are well-known and irrefutable sources of neuroprotectors or neuromodulators. In this respect, the present study reviews our current understanding of the mechanisms of action and future prospects regarding the use of new drugs derived from wasp and bee venom in the treatment of major neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, Epilepsy, Multiple Sclerosis and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis….
Conclusion: Due to the rising prevalence of neurodegenerative diseases among the elderly, there is a pressing need for better treatment to alleviate the social and financial burden of these disorders. There are multiple targets for treating neurodegenerative diseases, considered complex syndromes that are difficult to control in a stable and lasting manner. Effective treatment of these diseases may require that the different pathogenic events associated with neurodegenerative diseases, such as the clearance of disaggregated proteins targeted in conjunction with neuroprotective and immunomodulatory strategies. In this respect, therapy using bee and wasp venoms is considered a psychoneurological approach for autoimmune and neurodegenerative diseases. Since these venoms contain a number of compounds, mainly peptides, advances in modern identification and sequencing techniques have facilitated and subsidized the elucidation of their full composition, thus providing an arsenal of new possibilities to combat a series of neurodegenerative diseases, using different neuroactive mechanisms of action.