Ethnopharmacological and Genetic Study on the Treatment of Mental Disorders: a Systematic Review


  • Carlos Kennedy Tavares Lima
  • Larissa Queiroz Pontes
  • Lia Gonçalves Pinho
  • Marcus Rafael Lobo Bezerra
  • Wallady da Silva Barroso
  • Antonio Gilvan Teixeira Júnior
  • Maria Nizete Tavares Alves
  • Janaina Carvalho Braz Macêdo
  • Uilna Natercia Soares Feitosa
  • José Leandro de Almeida Neto
  • Carmem Ulisses Peixoto
  • Maria Eliana Pierre Martins
  • Modesto Leite Rolim-Neto



Treatment of Mental Disorders, Ethnopharmacological, Genetic Study


Background: Popular medicine has been used to treat some diseases including mental disorders since the ancient times. The development of this powerful tool can bring to the actual world some benefis to improve the way of taking care of mental illnesses.

Objective: To show relevant studies about biopharmaceuticals and to infer the equivalence of using biopharmaceuticals, regarding to efficiacy and safety as the chemical-type drugs in the treatment for mental disorders, assessing whether there are biomolecules that might work as biopharmaceuticals to treat, cure or mitigate different mental disorders.

Methods: A systematic review from 01.01.2004 to 25.28.2014 was performed on the databases PubMed, Scopus and Science Direct. The search was performed with the descriptor ''mental disorders'' and with the keywords ''biopharmaceuticals'' and ''biomolecules''. The information pertinent to the study was selected, categorized and analyzed. Of the 339 articles found, 20 met the eligibility criteria.

Results: Eastern culture, followed by Amazonian region concentrated most of the species related with popular treatment of mental disorders. Several species were revealed to act upon receptors or neurotransmitters in the Central Nervous System (CNS), which, sometimes, is a similar mechanism of action of a lot of well-known synthetic drugs on the market. It was also highlighted the use of the genetic knowledge to propose a gene therapy, in which a more targeted treatment would be available in cases of mental illnesses.

Conclusion: Our fidings consolidate the importance of popular medicine to society. In this study, the reported natural compounds have been used for many years to treat mental disorders confiming their potential activity as biopharmaceuticals. Also, possible targets were reported for gene therapy, a promising approach to treat mental illnesses.






Psychiatry & Mental Health

Most read articles by the same author(s)

1 2 > >>