Sunday, February 18, 2018
Curcumin Could Be Good News For Aging People With Memory Loss
2/5/2018 2:25:59 PM
Antonio Manaytay - Fourth Estate Contributor

Los Angeles, CA, United States (4E) - A new study had suggested that daily consumption of a certain type of curcumin could help aging people with mild memory loss. It could also give a lift to their mood, too.

UCLA researchers, in a study published online in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, said the research focused on how the easily absorbed curcumin supplement could affect the memory performance in people suffering from dementia. It also examined the effects of curcumin on the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease.

Curcumin in turmeric had been found in previous studies to contain anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant potential.

"Exactly how curcumin exerts its effects is not certain, but it may be due to its ability to reduce brain inflammation, which has been linked to both Alzheimers' disease and major depression," study's first author Dr. Gary Small, director of geriatric psychology at UCLA's Longevity Center, said.

The double-blind and placebo-controlled study involved some 40 adults, whose ages are between 50 and 90, suffering from mild memory problems. Randomly chosen, each participant received twice a day for 18 months either a placebo or 90 milligrams of curcumin.

Initially, the participants had undergone the same cognitive assessments repeated every six months. The researchers determined the level of curcumin in their blood at the start of the study and at the end of 18 months.

Thirty of the participants went through PET scan, shorthand for positron emission tomography, to measure the levels of amyloid and tau in their brains at the start of the study and after 18 months.

Small, who is also the director of geriatric psychiatry division at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, it was found out that people who consumed curcumin had their memory and cognitive skills improved while those who took placebo did not show any improvement.

Subsequent memory tests had shown that the participants who took curcumin improved their memory by 28 percent. They also displayed slight improvement in their mood while their PET scan results showed reduced levels of amyloid and tau signals in their amygdala and hypothalamus compared to those who took the placebo. The regions of the brain that control some memory and emotional functions are called amygdale and hypothalamus.

Four curcumin-consuming participants and two who consumed placebos had reported mild side effects such as abdominal pain and nausea.

Small said the study had shown that taking "relatively safe form of curcumin could provide meaningful cognitive benefits over the years."

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