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Epigenetic Orchestration of Neurodegenerative Disorders: A Possible Target for Curcumin as a Therapeutic.

Epigenetic modulations play a major role in gene expression and thus are responsible for various physiological changes including age-associated neurological disorders. Neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's (AD), Parkinson's (PD), Huntington's disease (HD), although symptomatically different, may share common underlying mechanisms. Most neurodegenerative diseases are associated with increased oxidative stress, aggregation of certain proteins, mitochondrial dysfunction, inactivation/dysregulation of protein degradation machinery, DNA damage and cell excitotoxicity. Epigenetic modulations has been reported to play a significant role in onset and progression of neurodegenerative diseases by regulating these processes. Previous studies have highlighted the marked antioxidant and neuroprotective abilities of polyphenols such as curcumin, by increased activity of detoxification systems like superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase or glutathione peroxidase. The role of curcumin as an epigenetic modulator in neurological disorders and neuroinflammation apart from other chronic diseases have also been reported by a few groups. Nonetheless, the evidences for the role of curcumin mediated epigenetic modulation in its neuroprotective ability are still limited. This review summarizes the current knowledge of the role of mitochondrial dysfunction, epigenetic modulations and mitoepigenetics in age-associated neurological disorders such as PD, AD, HD, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), and Multiple Sclerosis (MS), and describes the neuroprotective effects of curcumin in the treatment and/or prevention of these neurodegenerative diseases by regulation of the epigenetic machinery.

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