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Cinnamon Compounds Prevent Neuron Abnormalities That Lead To Alzheimer’s Disease

May 23, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Two compounds found in the common aromatic spice cinnamon seem to prevent the development of the filamentous plaque found in the brain cells that characterize Alzheimer’s disease, according to new U.S. research. The protein tau plays a large role in the structure of the neurons: it is responsible for the assembly of microtubules in a cell. In Alzheimer’s, however, tau starts clumping together, forming insoluble fibers in neurons. The compound cinnamaldehyde prevents the tau knots. Epicatechin, a powerful antioxidant found in cinnamon, interacts with cysteines on the tau protein in a way similar to the protective action of cinnamaldehyde.
Roshni C. George et al., "Interaction of Cinnamaldehyde and Epicatechin with Tau: Implications of Beneficial Effects in Modulating Alzheimer's Disease Pathogenesis", Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, May 23, 2013, © Journal of Alzheimer's Disease
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