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Coenzyme Q10 Does Not Improve Parkinsons Disease Symptoms

Small doses of the antioxidant coenzyme Q10 appear to increase blood levels of this naturally occurring compound in patients with Parkinsons disease , but does not improve Parkinsons disease symptoms, according to a study.

Parkinsons disease is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by tremors and difficulty with walking or other movements. The biological mechanisms underlying the condition are not fully understood, but researchers suspect a malfunction of the mitochondria, parts of the cells that help convert food to energy, according to background information in the article. Coenzyme (CoQ10), an antioxidant sold as a dietary supplement, is also involved in mitochondrial processes. Because of these functions, CoQ10 has attracted attention concerning neuroprotective actions in neurodegenerative disorders linked to mitochondrial defects or oxidative [oxygen-related] stress, such as Huntingtons disease and Parkinsons disease, the authors write. Previous studies indicate that high doses of CoQ10 (1,200 milligrams) may slow the deterioration associated with Parkinsons disease.

Alexander Storch, M.D., of the Technical University of Dresden, Germany, and colleagues conducted a randomized clinical trial of a 300-milligram dose of CoQ10 in 131 patients with Parkinsons disease who did not have changes in motor functions and were on stable treatment for their condition. Those assigned to the treatment group took 100 milligrams of CoQ10 three times daily for three months, followed by a two-month washout period. The researchers assessed Parkinsons disease symptoms before treatment began, each month during treatment and again after the washout period. Blood tests were performed at the beginning of the study, after three months of treatment and after the washout period.

A total of 106 patients completed the full three months of the study55 in the CoQ10 group and 51 in the placebo group. The compound was well tolerated overall, and the
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