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Potential impact of cinnamon on multiple sclerosis studied
Date:6/22/2011

een implicated in the pathogenesis of a variety of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and MS. Activated glial cells accumulate and secrete different neurotoxin factors that cause various autoimmune responses that lead to brain injury.

"These autoimmune reactions in the brain ultimately kill oligodendrocytes, which are a certain type of brain cell that protects the nerve cells and myelin sheath," said Pahan. "However, cinnamon has an anti-inflammatory property to counteract and inhibit the glial activation that causes brain cell death."

In earlier published studies, Pahan has been able to show that sodium benzoate, which is a metabolite of cinnamon, can inhibit the expression of various pro-inflammatory molecules in brain cells and block the disease process of MS in mice.

Different doses of sodium benzoate were mixed into drinking water since it is highly soluble and non-toxic, and administered to the mice. Sodium benzoate suppressed the MS clinical score by more than 70 percent and inhibited incidence of MS by 100 percent in the animal model. Results of the initial studies were published in past issues of the Journal of Immunology.

According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, 400,000 people in the U.S. are affected by MS, which is diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 40, but can be found at any age. Although the disease is not fatal, it causes muscle weakness, tremors, loss of vision, cognitive changes, depression and other problems. About half of patients with MS become wheelchair bound within 15 years of disease onset and during the last stages of the disease, patients are bedridden. People with a family history of MS and those who live in a geographical area where MS is more common have a slightly higher risk of the disease.

Current medications to treat the symptoms of MS are Interferon-B, Copaxone and Tysabri.

"These medications are expensive, have many
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Contact: Deb Song
deb_song@rush.edu
312-942-0588
Rush University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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