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Neurol Res Int. 2016;2016:9468193. doi: 10.1155/2016/9468193. Epub 2016 May 19.

The Potential of Curcumin in Treatment of Spinal Cord Injury.

Author information

1
Nassau University Medical Center, East Meadow, NY 11554, USA.
2
Department of Internal Medicine, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE 68198, USA.
3
Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE 68198, USA.

Abstract

Current treatment for spinal cord injury (SCI) is supportive at best; despite great efforts, the lack of better treatment solutions looms large on neurological science and medicine. Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, a spice known for its medicinal and anti-inflammatory properties, has been validated to harbor immense effects for a multitude of inflammatory-based diseases. However, to date there has not been a review on curcumin's effects on SCI. Herein, we systematically review all known data on this topic and juxtapose results of curcumin with standard therapies such as corticosteroids. Because all studies that compare the two show superior results for curcumin over corticosteroids, it could be true that curcumin better acts at the inflammatory source of SCI-mediated neurological injury, although this question remains unanswered in patients. Because curcumin has shown improvements from current standards of care in other diseases with few true treatment options (e.g., osteoarthritis), there is immense potential for this compound in treating SCI. We critically and systematically summarize available data, discuss clinical implications, and propose further testing of this well-tolerated compound in both the preclinical and the clinical realms. Analyzing preclinical data from a clinical perspective, we hope to create awareness of the incredible potential that curcumin shows for SCI in a patient population that direly needs improvements on current therapy.

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