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Expert Opin Investig Drugs. 2012 Aug;21(8):1123-40. doi: 10.1517/13543784.2012.693479. Epub 2012 Jun 6.

Curcumin and neurodegenerative diseases: a perspective.

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College of Pharmacy, Northeast Ohio Medical University, Rootstown, OH 44272, USA.



Curcumin, a dietary polyphenol found in the curry spice turmeric, possesses potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and an ability to modulate multiple targets implicated in the pathogenesis of chronic illness. Curcumin has shown therapeutic potential for neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Parkinson's disease (PD).


This article highlights the background and epidemiological evidence of curcumin's health benefits and its pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic profile. Curcumin's ability to counteract oxidative stress and inflammation and its capacity to modulate several molecular targets is reviewed. We highlight the neuroprotective properties of curcumin including pre-clinical evidence for its pharmacological effects in experimental models of AD and PD. The bioavailability and safety of curcumin, the development of semi-synthetic curcuminoids as well as novel formulations of curcumin are addressed.


Curcumin possesses therapeutic potential in the amelioration of a host of neurodegenerative ailments as evidenced by its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-protein aggregation effects. However, issues such as limited bioavailability and a paucity of clinical studies examining its therapeutic effectiveness in illnesses such as AD and PD currently limit its therapeutic outreach. Considerable effort will be required to adapt curcumin as a neuroprotective agent to be used in the treatment of AD, PD and other neurodegenerative diseases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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