Following indications that the curry spice curcumin (the active ingredient in turmeric) may help protect brain cells from damage, two new studies have been testing a compound called CNB-001, derived from curcumin.
The first (rabbit) study found that CNB-001 is at least as effective as the only existing drug used to treat stroke (TPA), without the unwanted side-effect of reducing clotting in the blood vessels of the brain.
The second study found that CNB-001 dramatically reversed the behavioral deficits in both locomotion and memory in brain-injured rats. As with stroke, CNB-001 was again found to maintain the critical signaling pathways required for nerve cell survival, as well as the connections between nerve cells that are lost with the injury.
At present, there is no treatment for TBI, and only one FDA-approved drug for ischemic stroke
(2011). Delayed treatment with a novel neurotrophic compound reduces behavioral deficits in rabbit ischemic stroke.
Journal of Neurochemistry. 116(1), 122 - 131.