Cholinesterase is an enzyme that breaks down acetylcholine into choline and acetic acid, a reaction necessary to allow a cholinergic neuron to return to its resting state after activation.
There are two types of
Acetylcholinesterase, also known as RBC cholinesterase, erythrocyte cholinesterase, or acetylcholine acetylhydrolase, found mostly in the blood and neural synapses.
Pseudocholinesterase, also known as plasma cholinesterase, butyrylcholinesterase, or acylcholine acylhydrolase, found mostly in the liver.
Acetylcholinesterase hydrolyses acetylcholine more quickly; Pseudocholinesterase hydrolyses butyrylcholine more quickly.
Many plants have
acetylcholinesterase inhibitor activity, here is one example"
In vitro acetylcholinesterase inhibitory activity of the essential oil from Acorus calamus and its main constituents.
Planta Med. 2007; Mukherjee PK, Kumar V, Mal M. School of Natural Product Studies, Department of Pharmaceutical Technology, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India.
The in vitro acetylcholinesterase inhibitory potential of the hydroalcoholic extract and of the essential oil from Acorus calamus rhizomes and that of its major constituents were evaluated. Analysis of the oil revealed that the major constituents were beta-asarone (79%) and alpha-asarone (8%). The experimental observations revealed that the Acorus calamus essential oil and its constituents have significant acetylcholinesterase inhibitory potential. beta-Asarone, the major phytoconstituent present in the essential oil, showed the maximum inhibitory potential.
Galantamine is a cholinesterase inhibitor substance available without a prescription.