Objective: To investigate the efficacy of curcumin oral supplementation (600 mg/day, Brainoil), a natural antioxidant compound, in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).
Methods: Patients were randomized into two groups: Group A received placebo for 3 months, then Brainoil for the following 3 months, Group B took Brainoil for 6 months. The evaluations were conducted at basal (T0), after 3 months of double blinded Brainoil or placebo treatment (T1), and after the 3 month open-label phase (T2). Clinical evaluations and oxidative stress biomarkers, including oxidative protein products (AOPPs), ferric reducing ability (FRAP), total thiols (T-SH) and lactate, were evaluated, compared to a control group, during an incremental forearm exercise test.
Results: Over the entire study Group B showed a stable score of the ALS-FRS-r which decreased in Group A (p<0.01), in parallel with a reduction of AOPPs (p<0.01) which was not detected into Group A. Also FRAP exercise values remained stable in Group B, while in Group A they were reduced without treatment at T1 (0.05<p<0.01), for then increase at T2 with introduction of therapy (p<0.05). In Group B T1>T0 exercise lactate was lower compared to Group A (p<0.01). Compared to controls, the whole ALS population showed a greater oxidative stress (p<0.001), those treated with curcumin (Group B) exhibiting decreased exercise AOPPs at T2 with values approaching those of controls.
Conclusion: Although further studies are needed to confirm these data, treatment with curcumin shows encouraging results indicating a slight slowdown in disease progression, improving aerobic metabolism and oxidative damage, this also contributing to deepen knowledge into the pathogenic mechanisms of ALS.