NYC Healthcare News



Rush scientist receives NIH grant to evaluate whether cinnamon may treat MS

April 11, 2016

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 side effects, and are only 30-40 percent effective in patients," said Pahan. "If our study is successful, there may be a day when just a teaspoonful of ground cinnamon per day with milk, tea or honey, may help MS patients manage the disease process and significantly cut down the drug cost drastically to $10 per month per patient."

Cinnamon is safe and has several advantages over currently approved MS drugs. It is not only less expensive, but is non-toxic and can be administered orally rather than through a painful injection.

"The most devastating nature of this disease is that it affects young people just starting their careers and families," said Pahan. "There is no other disease in the world that has such an impact on the quality of lives of young, vibrant adults. This is what motivates me to study this disease."

Source: Rush University Medical Center