One of the safest approaches to stop the progression of Parkinson’s disease could be the humble cinnamon stick. Researchers at the Rush University Medical Centre in the US fed ground cinnamon to mice with Parkinson’s disease (PD) and discovered that compounds found in the spice reverse some of the changes that occur in brains with this illness.
In the study, the researchers found that once ground cinnamon is metabolised into sodium benzoate, it enters the brain and stops the loss of two proteins (Parkin and DJ-1) that decrease in brain tissue affected by Parkinson’s. The substance also normalises the levels of neurotransmitters - brain chemicals that carry information between neurons and other cells in the body - and improve motor function in mice, explained the researchers in a news release.
“Now we need to translate this finding to the clinic and test ground cinnamon in patients with PD. If these results are replicated in PD patients, it would be a remarkable advance in the treatment of this devastating neurodegenerative disease,” said lead author, neurologist Kalipada Pahan, in a release.
The results of the study have been published in the journal Neuroimmune Pharmacology.