Orally Administered Cinnamon Extract Attenuates Cognitive and Neuronal Deficits Following Traumatic Brain Injury

J Mol Neurosci. 2021 Jan;71(1):178-186. doi: 10.1007/s12031-020-01688-4. Epub 2020 Sep 8.


The present paper shows how cinnamon extract (CE) consumption mitigates neuronal loss and memory impairment following traumatic brain injury (TBI), one of the world's most common neurodegenerative diseases. TBI patients suffer short- and long-term behavioral, cognitive, and emotional impairments, including difficulties in concentration, memory loss, and depression. Research shows that CE application can mitigate cognitive and behavioral impairments in animal models for Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, whose pathophysiology is similar to that of TBI. This study builds on prior research by showing similar results in TBI mice models. After drinking CE for a week, mice were injured using our 70-g weight drop TBI device. For 2 weeks thereafter, the mice continued drinking CE alongside standard lab nutrition. Subsequently, the mice underwent behavioral tests to assess their memory, motor activity, and anxiety. The mice brains were harvested for immunohistochemistry staining to evaluate overall neuronal survival. Our results show that CE consumption almost completely mitigates memory impairment and decreases neuronal loss after TBI. Mice that did not consume CE demonstrated impaired memory. Our results also show that CE consumption attenuated neuronal loss in the temporal cortex and the dentate gyrus. Mice that did not consume CE suffered a significant neuronal loss. There were no significant differences in anxiety levels and motor activity between all groups. These findings show a new therapeutic approach to improve cognitive function and decrease memory loss after TBI.

Keywords: Cinnamon extract (CE); Cognitive impairments; Neurodegenerative disease; Neuronal survival; Spatial memory; Traumatic brain injury (TBI); Visual memory.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Anxiety / drug therapy
  • Anxiety / etiology
  • Brain Injuries, Traumatic / complications
  • Brain Injuries, Traumatic / drug therapy*
  • Brain Injuries, Traumatic / pathology
  • Cell Count
  • Cinnamomum zeylanicum*
  • Cognition Disorders / drug therapy
  • Cognition Disorders / etiology
  • Cognition Disorders / prevention & control*
  • Elevated Plus Maze Test
  • Exploratory Behavior
  • Locomotion / drug effects
  • Male
  • Maze Learning / drug effects
  • Memory Disorders / drug therapy
  • Memory Disorders / etiology
  • Memory Disorders / prevention & control*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred ICR
  • Neurons / pathology
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Recognition, Psychology / drug effects
  • Water


  • Plant Extracts
  • Water