Synthetic Tumeric Reduces TBI Damage

At this time there is no FDA approved treatment for TBI. Experiments have been done with cooling helmets and hyperbaric oxygen chambers, but these have not led to FDA approval. Physicians keep trying. Recently scientists as the Salk Institute for Biological Study observed that a compound called CNB-001 (the active ingredient in the curry spice tumeric) effectively protected brain cells in animals from damage consequent to ischemic stroke and TBI.

In collaboration with researchers at Cedars-Sinai and UCLA the Salk Institute scientists tested a synthetic derivative of this compound. They found that after inducing ischemic stroke or TBI in animals, and giving them the synthetic tumeric compound, the animals’ behavior was relatively normal. During autopsy they found the brain cells in these animals had been spared much of the damage which normally flows from ischemic stroke and TBI. The compound does not work by dissolving blood clots (like the drug TPA for strokes). Rather it has a direct neuro-protective effect on traumatized brain cells. The study was published in the December 2, 2010 issue of the Journal of Neurochemistry. Research on the compound is still a far way off from any human trials.

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