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My news article appeared in UCLA News which I found online UCLA-VA Study Names India Dietary Staple as Potential Alzheimers Weapon Breaks Up Brain Plaques in MiceCole 2004 The title immediately caught my attention because Alzheimers DiseaseAD is a growing problem in our aging population and the idea of a common foodstuff reversing it seemed either miraculous or science fiction The article explained the pathogenesis of AD very well AD is an irreversible progressive degeneration of the brain caused by plaque buildup on nerve cells This plaque consists of aggregated fibrils of amyloid a proteinaceous substance Inflammation has been found to cause the aggregation of amyloid therefore anti-inflammatory agents should prevent the development of AD Earlier studies found that curcumin from which curry is derived is an extremely potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent This is due to its low molecular weight and molecular polarity which enables it to penetrate large proteins and break them up UCLA News also described the hypothesis of the study well that since curcumin is a potent anti-inflammatory agent it should prevent amyloid aggregation and perhaps even be able to disaggregate previously formed plaque The news story also reported the results fairly but did not say what type of study it was or what the operationalization was I was unable to download the full text of the study from the Journal of Chemical Biology because the study is protected by the twelve month restriction However I was able to download the abstract which explained that this was an experimental study and described the operationalization Tg2567 mice a strain genetically programmed to develop AD were divided into experimental and control groups The experimental group was fed curcumin in their diet and also injected with curcumin The control group received no curcumin and led a peaceful murine existence until they were harvested Curcumin therefore was the independent variable and development of cerebral amyloid plaques was the dependent variable Results were determined by
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