Micronization potentiates curcumin's anti-seizure effect and brings an important advance in epilepsy treatment

Sci Rep. 2018 Feb 8;8(1):2645. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-20897-x.


Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological diseases, and current antiepileptic drugs fail to suppress seizure occurrence in around one third of epileptic patients. Curcumin is a phytochemical with promising effects on epilepsy treatment. However, its application has been hindered by its low bioavailability. In order to improve curcumin's anti-seizure properties, increasing its bioavailability, here we proposed to micronize the compound through supercritical carbon dioxide processing, a suitable green chemistry technique to prepare and modify material properties. Here we investigated the anti-seizure potential of the classical antiepileptic drug valproate, curcumin in its natural state, and micronized curcumin in a PTZ-induced seizure model in zebrafish (Danio rerio). Concerning seizure development, valproate, curcumin and micronized curcumin showed protective effects, slowing seizure development both in larvae and adult animals. Nevertheless, considering the occurrence of the tonic-clonic seizure stage, only valproate and micronized curcumin reduced it, both in larvae and adult zebrafish, unlike non-processed curcumin. Our obtained results are very promising, since micronized curcumin showed effects that are similar to a classic antiepileptic drug, reducing seizure occurrence and slowing seizure progression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anticonvulsants / pharmacology
  • Biological Availability
  • Curcumin / pharmacokinetics*
  • Curcumin / pharmacology
  • Curcumin / therapeutic use
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Drug Compounding / methods*
  • Epilepsy / drug therapy*
  • Epilepsy / metabolism
  • Seizures / chemically induced
  • Valproic Acid / pharmacokinetics
  • Valproic Acid / pharmacology
  • Zebrafish


  • Anticonvulsants
  • Valproic Acid
  • Curcumin