The turmeric component has shown benefit in treating disease
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/22/2012 -- A study in India will look at how an ingredient of turmeric affects cerebral malaria.
Dr. Saparna Pai of Australia received a fellowship to study how the immune cells of subjects suffering malaria are affected by curcumin.
Researchers at the Indian Institute of Science have shown curcumin halts the effects of the disease in mice. Pai trained at the postgraduate level at the institute, and he is now a postdoctoral fellow at the Immune Imaging laboratory at the Centenary Institute and the Dermatology Research Foundation at the University of Sydney.
India has a history of using the turmeric component, Pai said.
“It has long been known in India that curcumin is useful in treating malaria,” Pai said, according to a report published by MedicalExpress.com.
Pai will collaborate with Virander Chauhan, a professor and leader of the International Center for Genetic Engineering’s Malaria Research Group. They will investigate how molecular signaling compounds interact with curcumin. Pai said their work could help develop a vaccine.
More than 650,000 people, mostly children, around the world die from malaria each year, and more than 200 million are infected. Most of them are in Africa, but the disease is common in Asia and India.
When malaria spreads to the brain, it causes cerebral malaria, in which victims can fall into a coma and die. Cerebral malaria is most prevalent in children younger than 5 years of age.
The Australian Academy of Science Early-Career Australia-India Fellowships were unveiled during the Australian prime minister’s trip to India. Sixteen researchers were awarded the fellowships to enable them to spend three to 12 months in India. Senior Visiting Fellowships were provided to 33 senior scientists for stays of up to two weeks.
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