Date of Award


Degree Type

Selective Evidence-Based Medicine Review

Degree Name

Master of Science in Health Sciences - Physician Assistant


Physician Assistant Studies

Department Chair

Laura Levy, DHSc, PA-C


OBJECTIVE: The objective of this selective EBM review is to determine whether or not curcumin is an effective treatment for Major Depressive Disorder (MDD).

STUDY DESIGN: A systematic review of three peer-reviewed studies published between 2014 and 2017.

DATA SOURCES: Two of the studies were randomized, double-blind, and placebo controlled. The third study was a randomized controlled trial. All three studies were chosen due to relevance to the clinical question and if they included patient oriented outcomes. The studies were found using PubMed.

OUTCOMES MEASURED: The outcomes of the studies were measured using self-report scales on each patient’s mood. The scales used were the Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology selfrated version (IDS-SR30) and the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, 17-item version (HAMD17).

RESULTS: The first Lopresti et al. article2 found statistically significant positive changes in symptoms for patients with MDD, the sample size was not very large, which makes the study not very generalizable. The Sanmukhani study7 found that curcumin was as effective as fluoxetine during the range of the study, but the study only lasted six weeks. Finally, Lopresti’s second published study3 found that there was not statistically significant data to support curcumin as a treatment for MDD.

CONCLUSIONS: The results of these three studies vary, showing that curcumin has the potential to be beneficial. However, further research is needed that includes larger sample sizes and longer trial durations.