Cinnamon may halt or reverse changes in the brain often seen in Parkinson's disease patients, according to a new laboratory study involving mice.
Neurological scientists at Rush University Medical Center have found the common food spice can reverse Parkinson's-like biomechanical, cellular, and anatomical changes that occur in the brains of mice. The results of the study, published in the Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology, showed mice fed cinnamon had better brain function and motor skills, which are often impaired in Parkison's patients.
"Cinnamon has been used widely as a spice throughout the world for centuries," said lead researcher Kalipada Pahan, a professor of neurology at Rush. "This could potentially be one of the safest approaches to halt disease progression in Parkinson's patients.
"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."
Pahan added that understanding how the disease develops is important to developing effective drugs that protect the brain and stop its progression.
This research was supported by grants from National Institutes of Health.
Parkinson's disease affects about 1.2 million patients in the United States and Canada, and is slightly more common in men than women.
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