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KCH's Khan gets NIH grant to study lutein supplementation and MS

Kinesiology and Community Health assistant professor Naiman Khan has received a National Institutes of Health-funded grant aimed at conducting a pilot study to investigate the process and scientific feasibility of lutein supplementation on cognitive function in people with multiple sclerosis.

Lutein is a plant pigment known to have protective effects for retinal health, Khan said. It has also been shown to promote cognitive function among people who don’t have MS. The study aims to determine the feasibility of providing lutein at different dosages over four months to promote cognitive function among people with MS.

“The limited efficacy of pharmacological approaches for treating cognitive problems in MS has prompted interest in nutrition for managing cognitive deficits,” Khan said. “This study aims to gain vital insights into the feasibility of supplementing lutein … with the long-term goal of conducting a larger randomized-controlled trial.”

The one-year grant, awarded through the Rehabilitation Research Resource to Enhance Clinical Trials at the University of Alabama-Birmingham, is for $63,394, Khan said.

Forty-five people with MS between the ages of 18-64 will be recruited for the study. Illinois teaching assistant Professor Brynn Adamson and Professor Rob Motl of UAB and formerly of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, are Khan’s collaborators on the study, with work to be conducted at Illinois.

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