Tumeric 'link' to brain cell repair

Credit: Martine Keene/PA Wire

An ingredient in many curry dishes could hold the key to brain repair, scientists have said.

According the the research from Germany, an ingredient in the yellow curry spice turmeric may hold the key to repairing the brains of people with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's.

In laboratory tests, aromatic turmerone promoted the proliferation of brain stem cells and their development into neurons, effectively 'regenerating' brain tissue.

The bio-active compound could help scientists develop treatments for conditions in which brain cells are lost, including Alzheimer's and stroke, it is claimed.

Lead researcher Dr Adele Rueger, from the Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine in Julich, Germany, said:

While several substances have been described to promote stem cell proliferation in the brain, fewer drugs additionally promote the differentiation of stem cells into neurons, which constitutes a major goal in regenerative medicine. Our findings on aromatic turmerone take us one step closer to achieving this goal.

– Dr Adele Rueger