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Curcumin and Yoga Therapy for Mild Cognitive Impairment

Active, not recruiting

This study will determine the impact of two interventions in people with early memory problems. First, it will test the clinical benefits of curcumin, a compound isolated from turmeric root, a component of Indian curry spices that has been found to inhibit several potential pathways in Alzheimer's disease. Second, it will determine the effect of adding a yoga-based physical exercise program.

Minimum Age Maximum Age Gender Healthy Volunteers
50 Years 90 Years All No
January 2014
December 31, 2020

  • Subjective cognitive complaints
  • Mini-Mental Status Exam (MMSE) score of 24; performance 1.5 standard deviation below average on Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer's Disease (CERAD) word list learning test
  • Essentially intact activities of daily living
  • Sedentary (exercise less than 30 minutes a day, 3 times a week)
  • Ambulatory
  • Able to exercise safely without cardiovascular symptoms and pass a graded treadmill test modified for the elderly
  • Community dwelling
  • Fluent in written and spoken English

  • Diagnosis of dementia
  • Concurrent substance abuse disorder, psychosis, or mood disorder
  • Neurological disease affecting motor or cognitive abilities (such as Parkinson's disease) or other significant uncontrolled medical problems
  • Initiation of any new medication/treatment for cognitive impairment (such as cholinesterase inhibitor or memantine) less than 6 months prior to study enrollment

Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) often represents the earliest stage of Alzheimer's disease, as individuals with MCI are subsequently diagnosed with Alzheimer's at much higher rates than their cognitively normal peers. This year-long, Phase II study will help determine whether two interventions--dietary supplementation with a novel formulation of curcumin and an aerobic yoga exercise program--affect memory function in older adults with MCI. Researchers will also examine brain imaging results and blood-based biomarkers associated with Alzheimer's disease.

For the first 6 months, participants will take either a curcumin supplement (800 mg daily) or a placebo. For the next 6 to 12 months, they will add a yoga exercise program, either aerobic or nonaerobic (two 1-hour classes and two 30-minute, at-home sessions per week). Investigators will examine any synergism between curcumin supplementation and aerobic exercise.

Name City State Zip Status Primary Contact
VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, West Los Angeles, CA
West Los Angeles California 90073

VA Office of Research and Development

Name Role Affiliation
Sally Frautschy, PhD Principal Invesitgator VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, West Los Angeles, CA

Name Phone Email
Sally Frautschy, PhD 310-468-3711
Nancy L. Mohler 310-478-3711


Curcumin and Yoga Exercise Effects in Veterans at Risk for Alzheimer's Disease