It has been noted in population studies that there is a lower rate of Alzheimer’s Disease in Indian people who consume curcumin in curry.  There is also a link between curry consumption and better cognitive function in older adults.  Curcumin has two clear beneficial properties.  One is to reduce inflammatory enzymes and the other is to activate protective antioxidants produced in the body and brain. This led researchers to explore curcumin supplementation and brain health, but initial clinical trials did not find any brain health effects, most likely because traditional forms of curcumin do not get into the brain.

Researchers at UCLA conducted an 18-month study to determine if a form of curcumin that passes the blood brain barrier called Theracurmin exhibited brain health effects. Study subjects ranged from 50 to 80 years of age and had mild, age-related memory loss. They were given either 90 milligrams of Theracurmin or a placebo twice a day. At the end of the study, there were significant differences between the two groups, especially in the area of short-term memory and long term recall of newly learned information (28% improvement). Visual memory and attention also improved 17% and 24% in the Theracurmin group.

American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry March, 2018