Neurological Sciences

, Volume 39, Issue 2, pp 207–214 | Cite as

Therapeutic potential of curcumin for multiple sclerosis

  • Munibah Qureshi
  • Ebtesam A. Al-Suhaimi
  • Fazli Wahid
  • Omer Shehzad
  • Adeeb ShehzadEmail author
Review Article


Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic autoimmune inflammatory disease of the central nervous system (CNS), characterized by demyelination, neuronal injury, and breaching of the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Epidemiological studies have shown that immunological, genetic, and environmental factors contribute to the progression and development of MS. T helper 17 (Th17) cells are crucial immunological participant in the pathophysiology of MS. The aberrant production of IL-17 and IL-22 by Th17 cells crosses BBB promotes its disruption and interferes with transmission of nerve signals through activation of neuroinflammation in the CNS. These inflammatory responses promote demyelination through transcriptional activation of signal transducers and activators of transcription-1 (STAT-1), nuclear factor kappa-B (NF-κB), matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), interferon ϒ (IFNϒ), and Src homology region 2 domain-containing phosphatase-1 (SHP-1). B cells also contribute to disease progression through abnormal regulation of antibodies, cytokines, and antigen presentation. Additionally, oxidative stress has been known as a causative agent for the MS. Curcumin is a hydrophobic yellowish diphenolic component of turmeric, which can interact and modulate multiple cell signaling pathways and prevent the development of various autoimmune neurological diseases including MS. Studies have reported curcumin as a potent anti-inflammatory, antioxidant agent that could modulate cell cycle regulatory proteins, enzymes, cytokines, and transcription factors in CNS-related disorders including MS. The current study summarizes the reported knowledge on therapeutic potential of curcumin against MS, with future indication as neuroprotective and neuropharmacological drug.


Curcumin Multiple sclerosis Autoimmunediseases Th-17cells B cells Oxidative stress 


Compliance with ethical standards

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer-Verlag Italia S.r.l. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences, School of Mechanical and Manufacturing EngineeringNational University of Sciences and TechnologyIslamabadPakistan
  2. 2.Department of Biology, Sciences CollegeUniversity of DammamDammamSaudi Arabia
  3. 3.Biotechnology Program, Department of Environmental SciencesCOMSATS Institute of Information TechnologyAbbottabadPakistan
  4. 4.Department of pharmacyAbdul Wali Khan University MardanPakistan

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