Washington: A new study has recently revealed that curcumin, a natural product found in the spice turmeric, may hold the key to treat Alzheimer's disease.
The study indicated that a close chemical analog of curcumin has properties that may make it useful as a treatment for the brain disease.
Wellington Pham, Ph.D., said that it has demonstrated ability to enter the brain, bind and destroy the beta-amyloid plaques present in Alzheimer's with reduced toxicity
Accumulation and aggregation of protein fragments, known as beta-amyloid, drives the irreversible loss of neurons in Alzheimer's disease.
Developing small molecules to reduce this accumulation or promote its demolition was crucial, but the ability of these small molecules to cross the blood-brain barrier has been a restricting factor for drug delivery into the brain.
Pham and colleagues at Shiga University of Medical Science in Otsu, Japan, developed a new strategy to deliver a molecule similar to curcumin more effectively to the brain.
To work around the problems of giving the drug intravenously, the researchers decided to develop an atomizer to generate a curcumin aerosol. The Japanese researchers developed a molecule similar to curcumin, FMeC1, which was the one actually used in this study.
The study is published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.