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Urate Reduces the Risk of Parkinsons Disease

in cells that occurs in individuals with Parkinson's disease.

If so, elevating blood urate could be helpful for patients with Parkinson's disease, said Alberto Ascherio, Associate Professor of Nutrition and Epidemiology at HSPH and senior author of the study.

To follow-up on this clue, Ascherio, along with co-author Michael Schwarzschild, a movement disorder specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital, and colleagues at the Parkinson Study Group, a collaborative group of Parkinson's disease researchers from the U.S. and Canada, accessed the databases of two large, randomized studies conducted among patients with early Parkinson's disease.

The preliminary results, presented in abstract form at recent meetings, showed a slower progression of the disease among individuals with high blood urate.

"It is still uncertain whether urate exerts a neuroprotective effect, but approaches to elevating urate levels are nonetheless worth considering as a potential neuroprotective strategy," said Ascherio, who is now collaborating with Schwarzschild and others in the design of a clinical trial in individuals with Parkinson's disease to examine this possibility.

"But elevating blood urate increases the risk of kidney stones and may have adverse cardiovascular effects and should only be attempted in the context of a closely monitored randomized trial until beneficial effects are proven," he added.




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