The effects of turmeric therapy on cerebral malaria studied

October 18, 2012

A Centenary researcher is off to New Delhi to study the impact on cerebral malaria of the major ingredient of turmeric, curcumin.

Dr Saparna Pai has been awarded an Australian Academy of Science Early-Career Australia-India Fellowship to investigate curcumin's action on during . The Fellowships were announced by the Academy during the visit to India of the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard.

"It has long been known in India that curcumin is useful in treating malaria," says Dr Pai, a post-doctoral fellow in Professor Wolfgang Weninger's Immune Imaging laboratory at the Centenary Institute and the Dermatology Research Foundation at the University of Sydney.

Researchers from the prestigious Indian Institute of Science—where Dr Pai undertook — have shown that curcumin literally switches off the clinical effects of the disease in mice.

Dr Pai will be working with Professor Virander Chauhan, who leads the highly-regarded Malaria Research Group (MRG) at the International Centre for and Biotechnology, which he also heads. She hopes the collaboration can make progress in determining how curcumin counters malaria by bringing the MRG's knowledge and experience of the disease together with the immunological expertise of the Centenary Institute. They will be studying the interaction of curcumin with molecular signalling compounds. In the long term, says Dr Pai, the project could contribute to the development of a vaccine.

Well over 200 million people worldwide are infected with malaria, and more than 650,000 die of the disease each year, mainly children. The victims are predominantly from Africa, but also commonly from Asia, including India. occurs when malaria spreads to the brain, usually in children under five. Eventually this leads to complications with the brain's which causes the child to slip into a coma and die.

Sixteen young researchers from across Australia received Early-Career Australia-India Fellowships, that support stays of between three and 12 months in India, while 33 senior scientists have been awarded Senior Visiting Fellowships, which support shorter visits of up to two weeks.

Explore further: Breakthrough in malaria research looks to body's immune cells

Related Stories

Breakthrough in malaria research looks to body's immune cells

November 25, 2011
Groundbreaking research from the Queensland Institute of Medical Research is set to pave the way for the development of new malaria drugs and vaccines.

How malaria evades the body's immune response

July 12, 2012
(Medical Xpress) -- The parasites that cause human malaria and make it particularly lethal have a unique ability to evade destruction by the body’s immune system, diminishing its ability to develop immunity and fight ...

Recommended for you

Engineered protein treatment found to reduce obesity in mice, rats and primates

October 19, 2017
(Medical Xpress)—A team of researchers with pharmaceutical company Amgen Inc. report that an engineered version of a protein naturally found in the body caused test mice, rats and cynomolgus monkeys to lose weight. In their ...

New procedure enables cultivation of human brain sections in the petri dish

October 19, 2017
Researchers at the University of Tübingen have become the first to keep human brain tissue alive outside the body for several weeks. The researchers, headed by Dr. Niklas Schwarz, Dr. Henner Koch and Dr. Thomas Wuttke at ...

Cancer drug found to offer promising results in treating sepsis in test mice

October 19, 2017
(Medical Xpress)—A combined team of researchers from China and the U.S. has found that a drug commonly used to treat lung cancer in humans offers a degree of protection against sepsis in test mice. In their paper published ...

Study reveals key molecular link in major cell growth pathway

October 19, 2017
A team of scientists led by Whitehead Institute has uncovered a surprising molecular link that connects how cells regulate growth with how they sense and make available the nutrients required for growth. Their work, which ...

Tracing cell death pathway points to drug targets for brain damage, kidney injury, asthma

October 19, 2017
University of Pittsburgh scientists are unlocking the complexities of a recently discovered cell death process that plays a key role in health and disease, and new findings link their discovery to asthma, kidney injury and ...

Inflammation trains the skin to heal faster

October 18, 2017
Scars may fade, but the skin remembers. New research from The Rockefeller University reveals that wounds or other harmful, inflammation-provoking experiences impart long-lasting memories to stem cells residing in the skin, ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.