A new medical breakthrough by WSU’s pharmacognostic researcher, Dr Taiwo Olayemi Elufioye could help recover memory loss through a groundbreaking anti-aging drug discovery at the university.
In her research study titled: “Metabolomic Profiling of Selected Medicinal Plants With Memory Enhancing And Related Potentials Using Direct Or Hyphenated Spectroscopic Methods” – Dr Elufioye used modern methods to identify active agents in some medicinal plants that are traditionally used by African traditional medical practitioners either as memory enhancers or as anti-aging.
Pharmacognosy is the branch of knowledge concerned with medicinal drugs obtained from plants and other natural resources.
“The aim of the study was to confirm the claims by traditional medical practitioners that the selected plants can enhance memory. Beyond confirming that these plants are effective, we also targeted identifying the constituents in the plants that are responsible for the activity,” said Dr. Elufioye.
“This is indeed a breakthrough. First, we were able to provide scientific justification for the use of these plants in ethnomedicine. In addition, the possible chemical compounds responsible for the activity were identified.,” said Taiwo.
Dr Elufioye started the research with an ethnomedical survey that leads to activity screening to identify these active plants. This was then followed by the process of bioactive compound identification using multiple scientific techniques.
“The main predisposing factor to memory loss is aging. This means every single person is at risk of losing their memory as we grow old. We know the various challenges which are faced in Africa in terms of accessibility to medicine, unlike in the Western world. Thus, if we as Africans can produce our own drugs from our own resources, the impact can only be imagined both in terms of better wellbeing as well as economic advancement,” added Dr Elufioye.
Should the outcome of the research be successful, this discovery will be a major breakthrough in medicine as there is currently no cure for dementia.
Dr Elufioye recommends the documentation and conservation of our indigenous medical knowledge as well as the training of our traditional medical practitioners on modern methods that could enhance their practice.