Tumeric Could Encourage Brain’s Ability to Heal Itself

Aromatic-turmerone, a compound that is naturally found in the spice turmeric, could potentially boost the brain’s ability to self-repair. Researchers from the Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine in Germany have studied the effects of aromatic-turmerone and identified its’ potential to encourage the growth of nerve cells believed to help the brain’s ability to repair itself.

Using rodents, the research team injected the compound into areas of the brain involved in nerve cell growth and studied the resulting brain scans. They found that these areas were much more active after the injection, which indicates a correlation between turmeric and brain cell proliferation. In a separate trial, the team bathed rodent neural stem cells in petri dishes with the compound, where they observed that 80 percent of the stem cells rapidly transformed into neurons or other cells.

Dr. Maria Adele Rueger from the research team said, “It is interesting that it might be possible to boost the effectiveness of the stem cells with aromatic-turmerone, and it is possible this in turn can help boost repair in the brain.”

Dr. Rueger and the team are looking into human trials. The rapid growth and specialization of nerve cells could potentially impact treatment of neuro-degenerative diseases, which are the deterioration of cells in the brain and spinal cord. Turmeric’s compound may provide new hope for diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s.

Although these results are encouraging, one should also eat a healthy diet, partake in physical activity and keep engaged mentally as is the goal of the Cognitive Therapeutics program.