Eating curry once or twice a week can help stave off dementia and Alzheimer’s, a new U.S. study has found. Curcumin, which is found in the spice turmeric, seems to prevent the spread of amyloid protein plaques in the brain; these plaques are thought to degrade the wiring of brain cells, eventually causing the symptoms of dementia. “You can modify a mouse so that at about 12 months its brain is riddled with plaques,” says Duke University professor Murali Doraiswamy, according to the BBC. “If you feed this rat a curcumin-rich diet it dissolves these plaques. The same diet prevented younger mice from forming new plaques. The next step is to test curcumin on human amyloid plaque formation using newer brain scans and there are plans for that.” Clinical trials are now underway at the University of California, Los Angeles to see if curcumin can help Alzheimer’s patients.