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Iran J Neurol. 2014 Jul 4;13(3):149-53.

Effect of Boswellia papyrifera on cognitive impairment in multiple sclerosis.

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Department of Neurology, School of Medicine, Neurology Research Center, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran.
Department of Pharmacology ,School of Pharmacy, Pharmaceutics Research Center, Neuropharmacology Institute, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran.



Cognitive impairment is one of the most crucial disorders among multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. Since MS is an inflammatory disease and Boswellia papyrifera has anti-inflammatory effects, the influence of B. papyrifera on cognitive impairment in MS patients has been investigated in the present study.


In this clinical trial, 80 MS patients who referred to the clinic of Shafa Hospital, Kerman, Iran were selected. Having completed a written consent form, patients with relapsing remitting MS, with no occurrence of a new attack throughout 1 month before the study, with no pregnancy or breastfeeding entered the study. The patients were randomly divided into two groups; then Brief International Cognitive Assessment for MS (BICAMS) test was carried out. One group received B. papyrifera (capsule 300 mg, twice a day) while the other group received placebo with the same dose for 2 months. After 2 months of treatment, BICAMS was redone and changes were analyzed. The significant change value on the before-after BICAMS points were considered to be 8, 13, and 7 points for the symbol digit modality test (SDMT), the California verbal learning test (CVLT), and the brief visual-spatial memory test revised (BVMT-R), respectively.


The patients' mean age was 36.58 8.50 years. The mean duration of disease was 7.41 4.13 years. About 84.2% (n = 64) of the patients was female. In the BVMT-R, 13 patients (34.2%), who had already taken B. papyrifera, were shown to have significant improvement compared to the placebo group with no improvement (P < 0. 001). About 12 and 8 patients in the treatment and placebo groups in the SDMT, respectively (P = 0.200) and 17 and 12 patients in the treatment and placebo groups in the CVLT, respectively (P = 0.170) had significant change values.


B. papyrifera showed significant improvement in visuospatial memory, but had no effect on verbal memory and information processing speed.


Boswellia papyrifera; Brief International Cognitive Assessment for Multiple Sclerosis; Cognitive Impairment; Multiple Sclerosis; Traditional Medicine


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