Tired of reliving the horrors of your past? Don’t worry, there is a cure.
According to a recent study published in medical journal Neuropsychopharmacology, the possible treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, might be present in your kitchen cabinet.
Commonly used as a curry ingredient, curcumin (a compound found in turmeric) has been found to possess the power to impair newly acquired and reactivated fear memories. The spice is vastly acknowledged for its medicinal properties, and contains anti-inflammatory bodies which are known to help with arthritis and stomach issues, among many other ailments.
After conducting various sets of rat experiments, researchers at Hunter College and the Graduate Center at the City University of New York may have found a way to protect your brain against bad and fear memories, and treat PTSD.
During the experiment, researchers fed rats with curcumin-enriched diet and then evoked fear in them by playing music and shocking their feet. Later, the researchers removed the subjects’ brains and studied them. In another experiment, memory retrieval tests were performed on these rats. The results showed the rats that ate curcumin-laced food had a hard time retrieving the fear memories.
Since human brains are far more complex than that of rats, researchers are devising a plan to test human subjects next. They are hopeful that this might be a breakthrough in the field of neuroscience. If this spice seems to have the same result on humans, it could possibly treat various neurodegenerative disorders.
The study was led and co-authored by Dr. Glenn Schafe, a psychology professor at Hunter College.
“We observed that fear memories that fail to reconsolidate under the influence of dietary curcumin are impaired in an enduring manner; unlike extinguished fear memories they are not subject to reinstatement or renewal,” he stated in the abstract of his study. “Collectively, our findings indicate that a diet enriched with curcumin is capable of impairing fear memory consolidation and reconsolidation processes, findings which may have important clinical implications for the treatment of disorders such as PTSD.”