There might actually be something you can take to protect yourself from neurodegeneration, according to an article in The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. A study done over the course of 18 months found that the consumption of Theracurmin on a daily basis “Led to significant memory and attention benefits.

Curcumin, one of the active ingredients of turmeric, provides the yellow color in curry and it might help to reduce inflammation in the body, according to WebMD. To test the effectiveness of the inflammation reduction properties in curcumin, researchers recruited 40 test subjects between the ages of 51 and 84 years old, said the study. None of the subjects already had any diagnoses of dementia, although they did have mild memory complaints, said a release from University of California Los Angeles.

Those subjects were randomly assigned either a placebo or 90 milligrams of Theracurmin, a form of curcumin, to take twice daily for a year and a half. They were all given verbal and visual memory tests to test how effective the Theracurmin was in increasing memory and attention.

The subjects who took the curcumin supplement, rather than the placebo “Experienced significant improvements in their memory and attention abilities,” said a release from UCLA. The participants in the study who took the supplement improved more than 25 percent on the memory tests and also saw small improvements in mood.

“These results suggest that taking this relatively safe form of curcumin could provide meaningful cognitive benefits over the years,” Dr. Gary Small, the lead author on the study said, according to the release.

The researchers involved in the study plan to conduct further research with a larger group of people and they also plan to open up the study to include subjects who also have mild depression. The hope is that with a larger sample the researchers will have more support for the theory that curcumin has benefits for people with a genetic risk of Alzheimer’s disease or a failing memory due to old age.​