This Curry Spice Might Help the Brain Heal Itself

TIME

A spice commonly used to make curry could help the brain heal itself by encouraging the growth of nerve cells, according to a new study.

Researchers at the Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine in Julich, Germany found that rats injected with aromatic-turmerone, a compound found naturally in turmeric, showed increased activity in parts of the brain associated with nerve cell growth.

The compound could encourage the proliferation of brain cells, researchers said — though it was unclear whether it could be used to help stall or reverse the symptoms of degenerative brain diseases like Alzheimer’s or dementia in human beings.

A separate trial by the same research group found that rodent neural stem cells grew when they were bathed in a solution of aromatic-turmerone. The cells bathed in the turmeric compound also appeared to specialize into certain types of brain cells more rapidly.

Dr Rueger told the BBC: “It…

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