The effect of curcumin (turmeric) on Alzheimer’s disease: An overview

Ann Indian Acad Neurol. 2008 Jan-Mar; 11(1): 13–19.doi:  [10.4103/0972-2327.40220: 10.4103/0972-2327.40220]PMCID: PMC2781139PMID: 19966973

Shrikant Mishra and Kalpana PalaniveluDepartment of Neurology, VA/USC 16111, Sepulveda, CA, USAFor correspondence: Shrikant Mishra, Department of Neurology, VA/USC 16111, Plummer Street, Sepulveda, CA, 91343 USA. E-mail: ude.csu@arhsimsReceived 2007 Nov 4; Revised 2008 Feb 5; Accepted 2008 Feb 12

Abstract

This paper discusses the effects of curcumin on patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Curcumin (Turmeric), an ancient Indian herb used in curry powder, has been extensively studied in modern medicine and Indian systems of medicine for the treatment of various medical conditions, including cystic fibrosis, haemorrhoids, gastric ulcer, colon cancer, breast cancer, atherosclerosis, liver diseases and arthritis. It has been used in various types of treatments for dementia and traumatic brain injury. Curcumin also has a potential role in the prevention and treatment of AD. Curcumin as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and lipophilic action improves the cognitive functions in patients with AD. A growing body of evidence indicates that oxidative stress, free radicals, beta amyloid, cerebral deregulation caused by bio-metal toxicity and abnormal inflammatory reactions contribute to the key event in Alzheimer’s disease pathology. Due to various effects of curcumin, such as decreased Beta-amyloid plaques, delayed degradation of neurons, metal-chelation, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and decreased microglia formation, the overall memory in patients with AD has improved. This paper reviews the various mechanisms of actions of curcumin in AD and pathology.

Keywords: Alternative approach to Alzheimer’s, beta amyloid plaques, curcumin, curcumin and dementia, epidemiology, turmeric