Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Chemical Found In Curry May Help Immune System Clear Amyloid Plaques Found In Alzheimer's Disease

Date:
October 3, 2006
Source:
University of California - Los Angeles
Summary:
UCLA/VA researchers found that curcumin -- a chemical found in curry and tumeric -- may help the immune system clear the brain of amyloid beta, which form the plaques found in Alzheimer's disease. These early laboratory findings may lead to a new approach in treating Alzheimer's disease by enhancing the natural function of the immune system using curcumin, known for its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties.

Untreated macrophages bind amyloid beta on the surface. (B) After curcumin treatment, macrophages ingest and degrade amyloid beta.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of California - Los Angeles

UCLA/VA researchers found that curcumin -- a chemical found in curry and turmeric -- may help the immune system clear the brain of amyloid beta, which form the plaques found in Alzheimer's disease.

Related Articles


Published in the Oct. 9 issue of the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, the early laboratory findings may lead to a new approach in treating Alzheimer's disease by enhancing the natural function of the immune system using curcumin, known for its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties.

Using blood samples from six Alzheimer's disease patients and three healthy control patients, the researchers isolated cells called macrophages, which are the immune system's PacMen that travel through the brain and body, gobbling up waste products, including amyloid beta.

The team treated the macrophages with a drug derived from curcumin for 24 hours in a cell culture and then introduced amyloid beta. Treated macrophages from three out of six Alzheimer's disease patients showed improved uptake or ingestion of the waste product compared to the patients' macrophages not treated with curcumin. Macrophages from the healthy controls, which were already effectively clearing amyloid beta, showed no change when curcumin was added.

"Curcumin improved ingestion of amyloid beta by immune cells in 50 percent of patients with Alzheimer's disease. These initial findings demonstrate that curcumin may help boost the immune system of specific Alzheimer's disease patients," said Dr. Milan Fiala, study author and a researcher with the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and the VA Greater Los Angeles Health Care System. "We are hopeful that these positive results in a test tube may translate to clinical use, but more studies need to be done before curcumin can be recommended." The patients ranged in age from 65 to 84. Fiala noted that the patients whose immune cells responded were younger and had higher scores on a Mini-Mental State Examination suggesting that curcumin may help those with less advanced dementia. Some of the patients may have already had additional curcumin in their systems due to participation in another UCLA study, which may have impacted findings.

"Our next step will be to identify the factors that helped these immune cells respond," said Laura Zhang, a study author and a UCLA/VA research assistant in Fiala's lab.

Fiala noted that the method researchers used to test the immune cell response of macrophages may provide a novel way of evaluating the effectiveness of drugs in clearing amyloid beta from the brain and may help to individualize Alzheimer's disease treatment.

According to Fiala, macrophages are the soldiers of the innate immune system -- the part of the immune system which is present at birth. Curcumin may support the body's natural immune fighting function in directly helping macrophages clean away amyloid-beta. The treatment of macrophages with curcumin is radically different from some of the vaccine approaches currently being studied.

The study was funded by the Alzheimer's Disease Association and private donors. The curcumin derived drug was provided by the Sabinsa Corporation, a company that manufacturers phytonutrients and specialty chemicals for nutritional, pharmaceutical and food industries. Fiala participated in a speaking engagement for Sabinsa.

Other study authors include: Michelle Mahanian, Justin Zaghi and Mark Rosenthal from the Department of Medicine, Veterans Affairs Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System and David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA; John Cashman of the Human BioMolecular Research Institute, San Diego; James Sayre of the Department of Biostatistics, UCLA School of Public Health; Araceli Espinosa of the UCLA Department of Neurobiology; Vladimir Badmaev, Applied Pharmacology, Sabinsa Corporation, New Jersey; Michael C. Graves, UCLA Department of Neurology; and George Bernard, UCLA Department of Neurology and Division of Oral Biology and Medicine, UCLA School of Dentistry.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - Los Angeles. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of California - Los Angeles. "Chemical Found In Curry May Help Immune System Clear Amyloid Plaques Found In Alzheimer's Disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 October 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061003143643.htm>.
University of California - Los Angeles. (2006, October 3). Chemical Found In Curry May Help Immune System Clear Amyloid Plaques Found In Alzheimer's Disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061003143643.htm
University of California - Los Angeles. "Chemical Found In Curry May Help Immune System Clear Amyloid Plaques Found In Alzheimer's Disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061003143643.htm (accessed November 23, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers find that as people approach new decades in their lives they make bigger life decisions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
You Don't Have To Be Alcohol Dependent To Need Treatment

You Don't Have To Be Alcohol Dependent To Need Treatment

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found 9 out of 10 excessive drinkers in the country are not alcohol dependent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Your Complicated Job Might Keep Your Brain Young

Your Complicated Job Might Keep Your Brain Young

Newsy (Nov. 20, 2014) Researchers at the University of Edinburgh found the more complex your job is, the sharper your cognitive skills will likely be as you age. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins