This review is an attempt to summarize our current understanding of curcumin's potential as a neuroprotectant and an antidepressant. This dual property confers a unique advantage to this herbal medication, believed to be devoid of any major side effects, to combat commonly observed co-morbid conditions of a neurodegenerative and a neuropsychiatric disorder. Moreover, in line with the theme of this series, the role of inflammation and stress in these diseases and possible anti-inflammatory effects of curcumin, as well as its interaction with signal transduction proteins as a common denominator in its varied mechanisms of action, are also discussed. Thus, following a brief introduction of curcumin's pharmacology, we present research suggesting how its anti-inflammatory properties have therapeutic potential in treating a devastating neurological disorder (Parkinson's disease = PD) and a debilitating neuropsychiatric disorder (major depressive disorder = MDD). It is concluded that curcumin, or better yet, an analog with better and longer bioavailability could be of important therapeutic potential in PD and/or major depression.
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- Parkinson's disease