A drug derived from the curry spice turmeric may be able to help the body repair some of the damage caused in the immediate aftermath of a stroke.
Researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles are preparing to embark on human trials after promising results in rabbits.
Their drug reached brain cells and reduced muscle and movement problems.
The Stroke Association said it was the “first significant research” suggesting that the compound could aid stroke patients.
Turmeric has been used for centuries as part of traditional Indian Ayurvedic medicine, and many laboratory studies suggest one of its components, curcumin, might have various beneficial properties.
However, curcumin cannot pass the “blood brain barrier” which protects the brain from potentially toxic molecules.
The US researchers, who reported their results to a stroke conference, modified curcumin to come up with a new version, CNB-001, which could pass the blood brain barrier.
The laboratory tests on rabbits suggested it might be effective up to three hours after a stroke in humans – about the same time window available for current “clot-busting” drugs.
Dr Paul Lapchak, who led the study, said that the drug appeared to have an effect on “several critical mechanisms” which might keep brain cells alive after a stroke.
Although strokes kill brain cells by depriving them of oxygenated blood, this triggers a chain reaction which can widen the damaged area – and increase the level of disability suffered by the patient.
Dr Lapchak said that CNB-001 appeared to repair four “signalling pathways” which are known to help fuel the runaway destruction of brain cells.
However, even though human trials are being planned, any new treatment could still be some time away.
Dr Sharlin Ahmed, from The Stroke Association, said that turmeric was known to have health benefits.
She said: “There is a great need for new treatments which can protect brain cells after a stroke and improve recovery.”
“This is the first significant research to show that turmeric could be beneficial to stroke patients by encouraging new cells to grow and preventing cell death after a stroke.
The Health Care Survivor’s Comment
Despite this story’s assertion that,”This is the first significant research to show that turmeric could be beneficial to stroke patients by encouraging new cells to grow and preventing cell death after a stroke”, the good news of this article is less surprising to those of us who chose a natural approach to our own health, an who follow the relevant research.
Turmeric, and the best known of its active compounds, Curcumin, have been known and studied for decades, in the time-span of allopathic medicine, and for centuries before that as a staple of Ayurvedic medicine.
Curcumin has been an integral part of My Serrapeptase Adventure, which charts my own escape from the toxic cocktail of prescription medication and return to naturally sustained good health. I have chosen to take Curcumin, rather than turmeric because the active curcuminoids represent a small proportion of the total amount of turmeric. Furthermore, turmeric offers poor levels of bioavailability, unless it is combined with substances, which enable better levels of absorption by the body. It is for this reason that I have chosen to take Curcumin and Serranol, which incorporate Phytosomes.
Phytosomes are plant extracts bound to phosphatidylcholine (fos-fa-tidal-ko-leen), which is an essential component of human cells. Our bodies make phosphatidylcholine, but we can also get it from food and supplements. When taken orally, phosphatidylcholine is very well absorbed. To improve absorption, scientists found a way to attach Curcumin to phosphatidylcholine – the result is Curcumin When you take Curcumin your body readily absorbs the phosphatidylcholine and the Curcumin attached to it, resulting in more Curcumin reaching the cells that can benefit from it.