Scientists are hopeful that combining a vitamin the body develops from sunlight and a spice used in Asian cooking could provide a treatment that results in more effective Alzheimer's care.
A team of scientists from UC Riverside and UCLA have teamed up to work on a compound that includes curcumin and vitamin D3, and their initial research supports the use of the two supplements together in not just preventing
, but reversing the effects of the progressive disease.
They extracted cells from Alzheimer's patients that contained beta amyloids, biomarkers that Alzheimer's researchers have associated with the condition's progression, and then administered the two substances.
The study noted that the macrophages, part of the body's immunity system, were able to use the compounds to decrease the levels of the amyloids, especially in the cells of patients with Type 1 Alzheimer's disease.
"Since vitamin D and curcumin work differently with the immune system, we may find that a combination of the two or each used alone may be more effective - depending on the individual patient," said co-author Dr John Cashman.