Turmeric oil may offer new ways of treating Parkinson’s disease


Author: Johanna Stiefler JohnsonPublished: 29 July 2021

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Turmeric oil may be beneficial in treating Parkinson’s disease, according to researchers from Kumamoto University in Japan.

Their findings support the known properties of aromatic turmerone (ar-turmerone), a compound found in turmeric essential oil, which reduces inflammatory responses caused by cells associated with Parkinson’s-related neurodegeneration.

Using midbrain slice cultures – laboratory cellular models that mimic brain activity – the team analysed the effects of a natural form of aromatic turmerone and eight structurally similar derivatives. They tested the derivatives’ anti-inflammatory effects, as well as their ability to protect dopamine-producing neurons.

Those with the strongest anti-inflammatory effects were found to prevent the loss of dopamine-producing neurons. Among these were aromatic turmerone and its derivatives, suggesting their role as a “potential candidate for treating Parkinson’s disease”.

In a press release, lead author Takahiro Seki said: “Our study elucidated a new mechanism by which ar-turmerone and its derivatives directly protect … [dopamine-producing] neurons.”

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