UCLA researchers seek adults with memory complaints ages 50 to 90 to study the effectiveness of the supplement curcumin, on age-related memory loss.
Cognitive loss and brain degeneration currently affect millions of adults. UCLA researchers say this number is bound to increase, given the aging population of baby boomers. Today, nearly 20 percent of people aged 65 and older suffer from mild cognitive impairment, 10 percent of those have dementia. UCLA researchers are studying ways to address early memory decline, including the use of the dietary supplement curcumin, a component of the turmeric spice known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
"With the huge impact of Alzheimer's disease, we are researching possible interventional treatments like curcumin that may help interrupt or postpone cognitive decline, even before symptoms are apparent," said Dr. Gary Small, principal investigator, director of the UCLA Center for Longevity, and a professor with the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA.
The study will last 18 months. Participants cannot have a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease or dementia. Following an initial screening visit, study volunteers will be assigned at random (similar to flipping a coin) to receive either a daily dose of curcumin or placebo. Both the supplement and the placebo will be taken orally in capsule-form. Over the course of the study, volunteers will participate in medical evaluations, blood draws, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET/CT) scans of the brain.
Side effects associated with curcumin are infrequent, but may include nausea and diarrhea. The rare side effect of vasogenic edema has been noted in other drugs with similar properties. While unlikely, investigators will nevertheless monitor for this complication with regular MRI scans of the brain.
For more information about the study, please call: (310) 825-0545.