Curcumin pretreatment attenuates brain lesion size and improves neurological function following traumatic brain injury in the rat.
Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2013 Sep ;110:238-44. Epub 2013 Aug 7. PMID: 23932920
Turmeric has been in use since ancient times as a condiment and due to its medicinal properties. Curcumin, the yellow coloring principle in turmeric, is a polyphenolic and a major active constituent. Besides anti-inflammatory, thrombolytic and anti-carcinogenic activities, curcumin also possesses strong antioxidant property. The neuroprotective effects of curcumin were evaluated in a weight drop model of cortical contusion trauma in rat. Male Wistar rats (350-400 g, n=9) were anesthetized with sodium pentobarbital (60 mg/kg i.p.) and subjected to head injury. Five days before injury, animals randomly received an i.p. bolus of either curcumin (50 and 100 mg/kg/day, n=9) or vehicle (n=9). Two weeks after the injury and drug treatment, animals were sacrificed and a series of brain sections, stained with hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) were evaluated for quantitative brain lesion volume. Two weeks after the injury, oxidative stress parameter (malondialdehyde) was also measured in the brain. Curcumin (100 mg/kg) significantly reduced the size of brain injury-induced lesions (P<0.05). Neurological examinations (rotarod and inclined-plane tests) were performed on days 1, 3, 7 and 14 post-brain injury. Control injured rats had a significant neurological deficit during 2 weeks (P<0.001). The injury increased brain levels of the malondialdehyde by 35.6% and these increases were attenuated by curcumin (100 mg/kg). Curcumin treatment significantly improved the neurological status evaluated during 2 weeks after brain injury. The study demonstrates the protective efficacy of curcumin in rat traumatic brain injury model.