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Huperzine A

Huperzine A
IUPAC name 1-Amino-13-ethylidene-11-methyl-
Other names HupA
CAS number 102518-79-6
Molecular formula C15H18N2O
Molar mass 242.32 g/mol
Melting point

217-219 °C (? K)

Except where noted otherwise, data are given for
materials in their standard state
(at 25 °C, 100 kPa)

Infobox disclaimer and references

Huperzine A, is a naturally occurring sesquiterpene alkaloid found in the extracts of the firmoss Huperzia serrata. The botanical has been used in China for centuries for the treatment of swelling, fever and blood disorders. Recently in clinical trials in China, it has demonstrated neuroprotective effects. It is currently being investigated as a possible treatment for diseases characterized by neurodegeneration – particularly Alzheimer’s disease.
Huperzine A has attracted the attention of Western medical science. It has been found to be an inhibitor of the enzyme acetylcholinesterase. This is the same mechanism of action of pharmaceutical drugs such as galantamine and donepezil used to treat Alzheimer's disease.
Clinical trials in China have shown that huperzine A is comparably effective to the drugs currently on the market, and may even be a bit safer in terms of side effects. Currently, the National Institute on Aging is conducting a Phase II clinical trial to evaluate the safety and efficiency of huperzine A in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease in a randomized controlled trial of its effect on cognitive function. Recently, it has been investigated for its effectiveness against epilepsy in an initial 20-person clinical study by Harvard University neuroscientists examining its worth and side effects in those who are not satisfactorily treated by existing pharmaceuticals.

See also


    • Zangara, A. The psychopharmacology of huperzine A: an alkaloid with cognitive enhancing and neuroprotective properties of interest in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2003 Jun;75(3):675-86.
    • Bai, D. L.; Tang, X. C.; He, X. C. Huperzine A, a potential therapeutic agent for treatment of Alzheimer's disease. Current Medicinal Chemistry , 2000, vol. 7, iss. 3, p. 355-374.
    • Tang, X. C.; He, X. C.; Bai, D. L. Huperzine A: a novel acetylcholinesterase inhibitor. Drugs of the Future, 1999, vol. 24, iss 6, p. 647-663.
    • Kozikowski, Alan P.; Tueckmantel, Werner. Chemistry, Pharmacology, and Clinical Efficacy of the Chinese Nootropic Agent Huperzine A. Accounts of Chemical Research, 1999, vol 32, iss 8, p. 641-650.
    • PDR entry for Huperzine A
    This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Huperzine_A". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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