Professor Ralph Martins, Ph.D., a recognized world leader in Alzheimer’s research, has begun a one-year clinical study at the prestigious Centre of Excellence for Alzheimer’s Disease Research and Care, Edith Cowan University to determine the extent to which a special bioavailable form of curcumin (BCM-95®) may prevent or delay the expected declines of Alzheimer’s disease.
Prof. Martins, winner of the 2010 “WA Australian of the Year” award, is credited, in collaboration with Australian and German scientists, with isolating beta amyloid protein which forms the amyloid plaque deposits in the brain, a characteristic diagnostic feature of Alzheimer’s disease. Professor Martin then went on to demonstrate that the Alzheimer’s brain is under oxidative stress which is now recognized to mediate the action of beta amyloid to cause Alzheimer’s. As head of the Sir James McCusker Unit for Alzheimer’s Disease Research for over 20 years, Director of the Centre of Excellence for Alzheimer’s Disease Research and Care, Director and Inaugural Chair for Ageing and Alzheimer's Disease at Edith Cowan University in Perth, Australia, Dr. Martins is working to develop an early diagnostic blood test to effectively prevent and/or tr eat this devastating degenerative brain disease.
Because of significant problems with curcumin absorption, clinical work with plain curcumin 95% has required very high dosing in past studies.
“I chose BCM-95 curcumin for this human study because it has published human bioavailability data. Therefore, I can use a reasonable amount and expect that the serum levels will achieve a therapeutic range for a significant period of time,” says Dr. Martins, who is the lead researcher in the study.
Curcumin studies in animal models of Alzheimer’s disease have demonstrated that it can play a significant role in the destruction of beta amyloid plaque. It is also a powerful antioxidant, with an ORAC value of 159,277 per 100 gm, as determined by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Other studies have shown that curcumin plays a role in neuronal regeneration. All these properties contribute to its potential utility in addressing this brain disease.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States. An estimated 5.3 million Americans have AD; approximately 200,000 persons under age 65 with AD comprise the younger-onset AD population. Every 70 seconds, someone in America develops AD.1
1. Alzheimer's Association. 2010 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures. Alzheimer's & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer's Association. March 2010;6(2):158-194.
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