Institute of Natural Medicine / University of Toyama

Research Outline

 We have progressed studies which aim at overcoming neurodegenerative diseases and aging-related diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease, spinal cord injury and sarcopenia. For developing epoch-making pharmacotherapies and finding critical regulating factors against those diseases, we investigate them by multi-viewpoints such as pharmacological, neuroscientific and traditional medicinal approaches.
   In Alzheimer’s disease study, we found that several Kampo medicines and herbal drug-derived compounds remarkably improved memory dysfunction in model mice. Those traditional medicines and their ingredients possibly show us novel signaling pathways that elicit reconstruction of the neural network. Spinal cord injury (SCI) study based on traditional medicine has found several effective drugs that have multiple effects at least on neurons, astrocytes, microglia and skeletal muscles, resulting in conversion of their properties toward improvement of motor function. We are challenging to establish tremendous strategies to treat SCI patients in the chronic phase.     

Resaerch Projects

  • 1. Integrative elucidation of the molecular mechanism of restoring the neuronal network in the central nervous system.
    2. Traditional medicine research seeking fundamental therapeutic drugs for Alzheimer’s disease, spinal cord injury or depression.
    3. Clarifying the molecular mechanism of recovery from neurodegenerative diseases by focusing the glial cell-neuron interaction. 
    4. Drug development for skeletal muscle atrophy.
    5. Proof of concept in humans aiming to develop new botanical drugs and new Kampo formulas.