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Natural Products in Neurodegenerative Diseases: A Great Promise but an Ethical Challenge

Section of Legal Medicine, Department of Surgical Pathology, Medical, Molecular and Critical Area, University of Pisa, 56124 Pisa, Italy
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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(20), 5170; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms20205170
Received: 31 August 2019 / Revised: 9 October 2019 / Accepted: 16 October 2019 / Published: 18 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products and Neuroprotection)
Neurodegenerative diseases (NDs) represent one of the most important public health problems and concerns, as they are a growing cause of mortality and morbidity worldwide, particularly in the elderly. Despite remarkable breakthroughs in our understanding of NDs, there has been little success in developing effective therapies. The use of natural products may offer great potential opportunities in the prevention and therapy of NDs; however, many clinical concerns have arisen regarding their use, mainly focusing on the lack of scientific support or evidence for their efficacy and patient safety. These clinical uncertainties raise critical questions from a bioethical and legal point of view, as considerations relating to patient decisional autonomy, patient safety, and beneficial or non-beneficial care may need to be addressed. This paper does not intend to advocate for or against the use of natural products, but to analyze the ethical framework of their use, with particular attention paid to the principles of biomedical ethics. In conclusion, the notable message that emerges is that natural products may represent a great promise for the treatment of many NDs, even if many unknown issues regarding the efficacy and safety of many natural products still remain. View Full-Text
Keywords: neurodegenerative diseases; natural products; ethics; patients’ autonomy; beneficence; nonmaleficence; medical liability neurodegenerative diseases; natural products; ethics; patients’ autonomy; beneficence; nonmaleficence; medical liability
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MDPI and ACS Style

Di Paolo, M.; Papi, L.; Gori, F.; Turillazzi, E. Natural Products in Neurodegenerative Diseases: A Great Promise but an Ethical Challenge. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20, 5170. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms20205170

AMA Style

Di Paolo M, Papi L, Gori F, Turillazzi E. Natural Products in Neurodegenerative Diseases: A Great Promise but an Ethical Challenge. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2019; 20(20):5170. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms20205170

Chicago/Turabian Style

Di Paolo, Marco; Papi, Luigi; Gori, Federica; Turillazzi, Emanuela. 2019. "Natural Products in Neurodegenerative Diseases: A Great Promise but an Ethical Challenge" Int. J. Mol. Sci. 20, no. 20: 5170. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms20205170

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