Curcumin has bright prospects for the treatment of multiple sclerosis.

Summary of "Curcumin has bright prospects for the treatment of multiple sclerosis."

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease of the central nervous system (CNS). It is associated with a variety of pathophysiological features, including breakdown of the blood-brain barrier (BBB), autoimmune attack, injury of axons and myelin sheaths. Th17 cells are considered as a key immunological player for the pathophysiological process of MS. Neuroprotective approaches work best prior to the initiation of damage, suggesting that some safe and effective prophylaxis would be highly desirable. Curcumin, a dietary spice from turmeric, has outstanding anti-inflammation and neuroprotective effects. Herein, we review key features of curcumin involved biology, pharmacology, and medicinal chemistry and discuss its potential relevance to pathophysiological progress of MS.


Division for Radiation Safety and Immune Tolerance, National Research Institute for Child Health and Development, Tokyo, Japan; Department of Advanced Technology for Transplantation, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka, Japan.

Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: International immunopharmacology
ISSN: 1878-1705


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A form of multiple sclerosis characterized by a progressive deterioration in neurologic function which is in contrast to the more typical relapsing remitting form. If the clinical course is free of distinct remissions, it is referred to as primary progressive multiple sclerosis. When the progressive decline is punctuated by acute exacerbations, it is referred to as progressive relapsing multiple sclerosis. The term secondary progressive multiple sclerosis is used when relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis evolves into the chronic progressive form. (From Ann Neurol 1994;36 Suppl:S73-S79; Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, pp903-914)

An autoimmune disorder mainly affecting young adults and characterized by destruction of myelin in the central nervous system. Pathologic findings include multiple sharply demarcated areas of demyelination throughout the white matter of the central nervous system. Clinical manifestations include visual loss, extra-ocular movement disorders, paresthesias, loss of sensation, weakness, dysarthria, spasticity, ataxia, and bladder dysfunction. The usual pattern is one of recurrent attacks followed by partial recovery (see MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS, RELAPSING-REMITTING), but acute fulminating and chronic progressive forms (see MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS, CHRONIC PROGRESSIVE) also occur. (Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p903)

The most common clinical variant of MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS, characterized by recurrent acute exacerbations of neurologic dysfunction followed by partial or complete recovery. Common clinical manifestations include loss of visual (see OPTIC NEURITIS), motor, sensory, or bladder function. Acute episodes of demyelination may occur at any site in the central nervous system, and commonly involve the optic nerves, spinal cord, brain stem, and cerebellum. (Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, pp903-914)

A yellow-orange dye obtained from tumeric, the powdered root of CURCUMA longa. It is used in the preparation of curcuma paper and the detection of boron. Curcumin appears to possess a spectrum of pharmacological properties, due primarily to its inhibitory effects on metabolic enzymes.

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