The Spice, Turmeric, May Help To Fight Alzheimer's Disease

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Curcumin, a component of turmeric, a spice often used in curries, appears to prevent the spread of amyloid protein plaques in the brain. These plaques are thought to cause Alzheimer's Disease, a form of dementia.

Professor Murali Doraiswamy, of Duke University in North Carolina, has told the annual meeting of the Royal College of Psychiatrists that animal research on mice provides evidence that a curcumin-rich diet dissolves these plaques and that this same diet prevented younger mice from forming new plaques.

He said that a clinical trial is underway at the University of California, Los Angeles, to test curcumin's effects in human Alzheimer's patients. The professor stressed that eating curries containing curcumin could not counter-balance the increased risk of dementia associated with an otherwise poor diet.

The BBC News item adds that "Dr Susanne Sorensen, of the Alzheimer's Society, said: "Indian communities that regularly eat curcumin have a surprisingly low incidence of Alzheimer's disease but we don't yet know why. Alzheimer's Society is keen to explore the potential benefits of curcumin in protecting the brain and we are conducting our own research into this area. ""

Cutting down on salt and salty food lowers the risk of vascular dementia, which is another form of dementia.

Reference: BBC

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