Food and Behaviour Research

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Neuroprotective effects of curcumin on 6-hydroxydopamine-induced Parkinsonism in rats: behavioral, neurochemical and immunohistochemical studies

Khuwaja G, Khan MM, Ishrat T, Ahmad A, Raza SS, Ashafaq M, Javed H, Khan MB, Khan A, Vaibhav K, Safhi MM, Islam F. (2011) Brain Res.  1368: 254-63. Epub 2010 Oct 15. 

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Curcumin, the active principle of turmeric used in Indian curry is known for its antitumor, antioxidant, antiarthritic, anti-ischemic and anti-inflammatory properties and might inhibit the accumulation of destructive beta-amyloid in the brains of Alzheimer's disease patients.

A Parkinsonian model in rats was developed by giving 6-hydroxydopamine (10 μg/2 μl in 0.1% ascorbic acid-saline) in the right striatum. After 3 weeks of lesioning, the behavior activities (rotarod, narrow beam test, grip test and contra-lateral rotations) were increased in a lesioned group as compared to a sham group and these activities were protected significantly with the pretreatment of curcumin. A significant protection on lipid peroxidation, glutathione, glutathione peroxidase, glutathione reductase, superoxide dismutase, catalase, tyrosine hydroxylase and D(2) receptor binding was observed in the striatum of lesioned group animals pretreated with 80 mg/kg body weight of curcumin for 21 days as compared to lesion group animals. No significant alterations on behavior and biochemical parameters were observed in sham group animals and the animals of sham group pretreated with curcumin.

This study indicates that curcumin, which is an important ingredient of diet in India and also used in various systems of indigenous medicine, is helpful in preventing Parkinsonism and has therapeutic potential in combating this devastating neurologic disorder.