Compound From Turmeric Has Neuroprotective Effects
Two new studies suggest that a compound derived from turmeric may have clinical promise for ischemic stroke and traumatic brain injury (TBI), both of which currently lack good therapies.
A synthetic derivative of turmeric made by scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies dramatically improved the behavioral and molecular deficits seen in animal models of these conditions.
In previous studies, David R. Schubert and Pamela Maher in the Salk Cellular Neurobiology Laboratory had developed a series of new compounds using a novel drug discovery paradigm that starts with natural products derived from plants; it then calls for selecting synthetic derivatives that show efficacy in multiple assays testing protection against various aspects of the nerve cell damage and death that occur in brain injuries and in age-associated neurodegenerative diseases.
One compound, called CNB-001, which was derived from curcumin, the active ingredient in the spice turmeric, proved highly neuroprotective in all of the assays; it also enhanced memory in normal animals.