Could a supplement help treat Parkinson's Disease? A study released looks at a compound made by our bodies which is now packaged as a supplement. It Is a coenzyme called Q-10, and researchers say it appears to help slow the neurological disorder which causes tremors and stiffness.
Researchers gave either coenzyme Q-10 supplement in high doses or a placebo to early stage Parkinson's patients who did not yet need medicine. They found the patients who got the highest doses of coenzyme Q-10 were able to function better in daily activities than those in the other study groups, but researchers are cautiously optimistic.
"This is not proof beyond proof. This is an encouraging result, but a larger control study is needed to definitely prove this," says Dr. Ray Watts, professor of neurology, Emory University School of Medicine.
The study was conducted at 10 sites across the country under the direction of the University of California at San Diego, but none was in Texas.
Researchers believe that the coenzyme Q-10 may have actually slow down the underlying progression of the disease, but they stress their research did not study nerve cell damage. The most effective dose of coenzyme Q-10 used in the study 1,200 milligrams, is much higher than most people take. Many of the patients did not show improvement in their symptoms for at least a couple of months.
Researchers are now planning to conduct a larger study in patients with early Parkinson's. The study is published in the October 15, 2002 issue of the American Medical Association's Archives of Neurology. It was conducted at 10 sites by the Parkinson study group, under the direction of principal investigator.