Affecting more than 4 million people worldwide, Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is a chronic motor system disorder characterized by tremor, rigidity; bradykinesia (slowness of movement) and postural instability. There presently is no cure, and medications, while offering symptom control, can become less effective over time. Basir Ahmad, from again State University (Michigan, USA, and colleagues revealed that curcumin, the compound that gives the spice turmeric its bright yellow color, is effective at preventing clumping of the protein, alpha-synuclein, involved in Parkinson’s disease, and increases its reconfiguration rate, particularly at high temperatures. Consequently, the study authors conclude that: “Curcumin rescues the protein from aggregation by making the protein more diffusive.”
Basir Ahmad, Lisa J. Lapidus. “Curcumin Prevents Aggregation in [alpha]-Synuclein by Increasing Reconfiguration Rate.” J. Biol. Chem. 2012 287: 9193-9199.