Professor Murali Doraiswamy, from the Duke University Medical Center in Carolina, has suggested that curcumin, found in the popular curry ingredient tumeric, could help prevent the onset of dementia.
Following a pilot study, a clinical trial is underway at the University of California to test the effects of curcumin on the amyloid plaque proteins that build up in the brain of patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Professor Doriaswamy made his comments at the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Annual Meeting in Liverpool.
Alzheimer’s Society is conducting its own research into this area. Researchers at Southampton University will examine whether curcumin could counteract some of the brain changes that are characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease.
‘Indian communities that regularly eat curcumin have a surprisingly low incidence of Alzheimer’s disease but we don’t yet know why. Alzheimer’s Society is keen to explore the potential benefits of curcumin in protecting the brain and we are conducting our own research into this area.
Dementia is a devastating condition that robs people of their lives. Unless we act now, one million people will develop dementia in the next ten years. A cheap accessible and safe treatment could transform the quality of life of thousands of people with the condition. With the right investment dementia can be defeated.’
Dr Susanne Sorensen
Head of Research
Source: Alzheimer’s Society, UK