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   Jun 29

Cinnamon May Protect Memory and Learning in Alzheimer’s Disease

Cinnamon, a widely used flavoring material and spice, may protect memory and prevent the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

Scientists at the Rush University Medical Center (Chicago) have tested cinnamon in mice with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and found that oral administration of this natural product reduces oxidative stress and lowers amyloid plaques in the brain and protects learning and memory.

Results from the study funded by the National Institutes of Health and Alzheimer’s Association were recently published in the PLoS ONE.

“This would be one of the safest and the most economical approaches to halt disease progression and protect memory in AD patients,” said Kalipada Pahan, PhD, who is the Floyd A. Davis Professor of Neurology at Rush.

Other Rush researchers involved in this study are Dr. Khushbu K. Modi, Dr. Avik Roy, Dr. Saurav Brahmachari, and Dr. Suresh B. Rangasamy.

“Cinnamon is metabolized in the liver to sodium benzoate, which is an FDA-approved drug used in the treatment for hepatic metabolic defects associated with hyperammonemia,” Dr. Pahan said. It is also widely used as a food preservative due to its microbiocidal effect.

Chinese cinnamon (Cinnamonum cassia) and original Ceylon cinnamon (Cinnamonum verum or zeylanicum) are two major types of cinnamon that are available in the US. “Although both types of cinnamon are metabolized into sodium benzoate, we have seen that Ceylon cinnamon is much more pure than Chinese cinnamon as the latter contains coumarin, a hepatotoxic molecule,” Dr. Pahan said.

“Understanding how the disease works is important to developing effective drugs that protect memory and learning and stop the progression of AD,” Dr. Pahan said.

It is known that oxidative stress precedes the appearance of amyloid plaques and plays an important role in the progression of AD. “Interestingly, after oral feeding, ground cinnamon is metabolized into sodium benzoate, which then enters into the brain, reduces oxidative stress, lowers amyloid plaques, protects neurons, and improves memory and learning in mice with AD,” Dr. Pahan said.

“Now we need to translate this finding to the clinic and test ground cinnamon in patients with AD. If these results are replicated in patients with AD, it would be a remarkable advance in the protection of memory in this devastating neurodegenerative disease,” Dr. Pahan said.

Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disease that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills, and eventually even the ability to carry out the simplest tasks. In most people with Alzheimer’s, symptoms first appear after age 60. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia among older people. Alzheimer’s disease affects as many as 5.3 million Americans.

About the Pahan lab at the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago:

Pahan lab at the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago primarily focuses on drug discovery against devastating neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and Batten disease.

Media Contact:

Kalipada Pahan, Ph.D.

Floyd A. Davis, M.D., Endowed Chair of Neurology


Departments of Neurological Sciences, Biochemistry and Pharmacology

Rush University Medical Center

Cohn Bldg, Suite 310

1735 West Harrison St

Chicago, IL 60612

Ph: (312)563-3592; Fax: (312)563-3571
Email: Kalipada_Pahan@rush.edu

Web: www.pahanlab.com

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalipada_Pahan

Study: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0130398

SOURCE: Rush University Medical Center

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