Curcumin in epilepsy disorders

Phytother Res. 2018 Oct;32(10):1865-1875. doi: 10.1002/ptr.6125. Epub 2018 Jun 19.


Curcumin, a principal curcuminoid present in turmeric, has an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties. Preclinical studies have indicated its beneficial effect for the treatment of epilepsy disorders. The molecule has an anti-seizure potential in preclinical studies, including chemical and electrical models of acute and chronic epilepsy. Curcumin also possesses an anti-epileptogenic activity as it reduces spontaneous recurrent seizures severity in a kainate model of temporal lobe epilepsy. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nature of curcumin might be responsible for its observed anti-seizure effects; nevertheless, the exact mechanism is not yet clear. The poor availability of curcumin to the brain limits its use in clinics. The application of nanoliposome and liposome technologies has been tested to enhance its brain availability and penetrability. Unfortunately, there are no randomized, double-blinded controlled clinical trials validating the use of curcumin in epilepsy. The present article analyzes different preclinical evidence illustrating the effect of curcumin in seizure models. The review encourages carrying out clinical trials in this important area of research. In conclusion, curcumin might be beneficial in patients with epilepsy disorders, if its bioavailability issues are resolved.

Keywords: anti-epileptic drug interactions; bioavailability; comorbidities; curcumin; epilepsy; preclinical animal models.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Biological Availability
  • Brain / drug effects*
  • Curcuma / chemistry
  • Curcumin / pharmacology*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical
  • Epilepsy / drug therapy*
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe / chemically induced
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Kainic Acid
  • Mice
  • Rats
  • Seizures / drug therapy*


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • Curcumin
  • Kainic Acid