Curcuminoids in Neurodegenerative Diseases
Darrick S.H.L. Kim, Jin Y. Kim and Yesun Han
Affiliation: Core LifeSource Inc. 5100 Newport Dr. Suite # 10, Rolling Meadows, IL 60008.
Neurodegeneration is a term used to describe progressive deterioration of structure and/or function of neurons
that affects different parts of the central nervous system and leads to eventual death. Neurodegenerative diseases include
Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Huntington’s disease (HD), and
Down’s syndrome (DS), multiple sclerosis (MS), glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and diabetic encephalopathy
(DE). Although the initial events that trigger these disorders may be different from each other, they share
similar biochemical reactions that lead to neurodegeneration. Curcuminoids, polyphenol compounds from turmeric (Curcuma
longa), possess diverse biological properties that modulate debilitating biochemical processes involved in AD that
include attenuation of mitochondrial dysfunction-induced oxidative stress and inflammatory responses to inflammatory
cytokines, COX-2, and iNOS. Curcuminoids also bind to β-amyloid (Aβ) plaques to inhibit amyloid accumulation and
aggregation in the brain, in addition to inhibiting the toxic Aβ oligomer formation and oligomer-dependent Aβ toxicity.
These properties can be further elaborated to DS, glaucoma and AMD. Curcuminoids also prevent α-synuclein aggregation
in PD; attenuate ROS-induced COX-2 expression in ALS; ameliorate the symptoms of MS, DE and traumatic brain
injury, in addition to neurodamages caused by heavy metal poisoning. These results demonstrate curcuminoids may be
potentially effective therapeutic means to treat neurodegenerative diseases. A bulk of patents discloses methods to improve
bioavailability of curcuminoids for therapeutic development. This review provides a comprehensive description on
the current progress on curcuminoids against neurodegenerative diseases.
Keywords: Curcumin, curcuminoids, neurodegenerative disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Huntington’s Disease, Down's Syndrome, Diabetic Encephalopathy
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