Ischemia-reperfusion injury (I/R injury) is a common feature of ischemic stroke which occurs when blood supply is restored after a period of ischemia. Although stroke is an important cause of death in the world, effective therapeutic strategies aiming at improving neurological outcomes in this disease are lacking. Various studies have suggested the involvement of different mechanisms in the pathogenesis of I/R injury in the nervous system. These mechanisms include oxidative stress, platelet adhesion and aggregation, leukocyte infiltration, complement activation, blood-brain barrier (BBB) disruption, and mitochondria-mediated mechanisms. Curcumin, an active ingredient of turmeric, can affect all these pathways and exert neuroprotective activity culminating in the amelioration of I/R injury in the nervous system. In this review, we discuss the protective effects of curcumin against I/R injury in the nervous system and highlight the studies that have linked biological functions of curcumin and I/R injury improvement.
Keywords: Central nervous system; Curcumin; Ischemia-reperfusion injury; Neuroprotection.