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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 174282, 6 pages
Review Article

Curcumin as a Therapeutic Agent in Dementia: A Mini Systematic Review of Human Studies

1Department of Brain and Behavioral Sciences, University of Pavia, Via Bassi 21, 27100 Pavia, Italy
2Department of Public Health, University of Pavia, Viale Golgi 19, 27100 Pavia, Italy

Received 31 August 2013; Accepted 7 November 2013; Published 22 January 2014

Academic Editors: A. Biegon and C. Capurso

Copyright © 2014 Natascia Brondino et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Dementia is a leading health problem worldwide, with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) representing up to 60% of all dementia cases. A growing interest has recently risen on the potential use of natural molecules in this condition. Curcumin is a polyphenolic compound traditionally used in Indian medicine. Several in vitro and in vivo studies have found a protective effect of curcumin in AD. In the present systematic review we aimed to evaluate the state-of-the-art of clinical trials of curcumin in AD. We retrieved three published studies, while there are several ongoing clinical trials. To date there is insufficient evidence to suggest the use of curcumin in dementia patients. Of note, short-term use of curcumin appears to be safe. Several reasons could be responsible for the discrepancy between in vitro and in vivo findings and human trials, such as low bioavailability and poor study design.