Researchers at the Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine in Julich, Germany, have discovered that a compound found in the spice turmeric could stimulate the growth of nerve cells in the brain.
Rats that were injected with aromatic turmerone showed increased activity in parts of the brain associated with nerve cell growth, Time reports. Although this could lead to the generation of more brain cells, researchers do not know if it could be used to halt or reverse symptoms of degenerative diseases like dementia and Alzheimer's.
In a separate trial, the same researchers found that the neural stem cells of rodents grew when bathed in a solution of aromatic turmerone. "It is interesting that it might be possible to boost the effectiveness of the stem cells with aromatic turmerone, and it is possible this in turn can help boost repair in the brain," Dr. Maria Adele Rueger, one of the researchers, told the BBC.