A new study published in the July issue of the Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology specifies that memory and learning is improved by consuming cinnamon.
The study conducted by neurological scientists at Rush University Medical Center found that feeding oral cinnamon to laboratory mice metabolized the cinnamon into sodium benzoate, a chemical used as a drug treatment for brain damage. When the sodium benzoate entered the mice’s brains, it increased CREB, decreased GABRA5, and stimulated the plasticity (ability to change) of hippocampal neurons.“This would be one of the safest and the easiest approaches to convert poor learners to good learners,” said Kalipada Pahan, PhD, the lead researcher of the study and the Floyd A. Davis Professor of Neurology at Rush.
“Understanding brain mechanisms that lead to poor learning is important to developing effective strategies to improve memory and learning ability,” Pahan said. The researchers used a Barnes maze, a standard elevated circular maze, to identify mice with good and bad learning abilities. After two days of training, the mice were examined for their ability to find the target hole. They tested the mice again after one month of cinnamon feeding.
The researchers determined that after eating their cinnamon, the poor learning mice had improved memory and learning at a level found in good learning mice. It affected the mice who had displayed poor learning ability.
“Individual difference in learning and educational performance is a global issue,” Pahan said. “We need to further test this approach in poor learners. If these results are replicated in poor learning students, it would be a remarkable advance.”
Previous studies have associated cinnamon with reversing changes in the brains of mice with Parkinson’s disease.
Khushbu K. Modi, Suresh B. Rangasamy, Sridevi Dasarathi, Avik Roy, Kalipada Pahan. Cinnamon Converts Poor Learning Mice to Good Learners: Implications for Memory Improvement. Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology, 2016; DOI: 10.1007/s11481-016-9693-6