In novel study researchers have found that a spicy ingredient, curcumin found in turmeric could be an effective treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s is linked to the loudening of knot of protein in the brain known as amyloid plaques, which damages the wiring in brain cells.
Drugs having similar properties to curcumin could be used potentially as a preventative treatment. Curcumin is extracted from the root of turmeric and has been used as medicine for thousands of years. It aids digestion and helps fight infection and guards against heart attacks. More recently it has been tested against pain, thrombosis and cancer.
In latest study Prof Per Hammarstrom and colleagues from Linkoping University in Sweden, found five groups of fruit flies who were genetically engineered to develop Alzheimer’s-like symptoms. When, fruit flies with a nervous disorder given curcumin, they live seventy-five percent longer. Researchers found no decline of amyloid in the brain or eyes of the rodents.
Curcumin did not liquefy the plaque, but hastened the formation of nerve fibres by diminishing the amount of their antecedent types called as oligomers, from which they were formed. The study findings confirm their conviction that it is the oligomers that are most harmful to the nerve cells, explained study author Prof Hammarstrom.
A number of theories have been already established that how oligomers can initiate the disease process. One theory is that oligomers become trapped at nerve junctions, restraining impulse signals. Other experts claimed that oligomers destroyed brain cells by puncturing membrane. The study findings were published in the journal PLoS One.