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Research news

CoQ10 May Slow Parkinson's Disease
19 November 2002
by Wyn Snow, Managing Editor

Building on the discovery that patients with Parkinson's have reduced levels of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) in their mitochondria, researchers at the University of California, San Diego, have found that supplementation with CoQ10 can slow the deterioration of function experienced by Parkinson's sufferers.

Researchers led by Clifford Shults, MD, divided 80 patients with early-stage Parkinson's into four groups. All of the patients had the tremor, stiffness and slowed movements typical of early-stage Parkinson's. Three of the groups received CoQ10 in dosages of 300, 600, or 1200 mg/day, together with vitamin E. The fourth group received placebo. Patients were evaluated every four months for 16 months, unless their level of disability made it appropriate to intervene with drugs.

Progression of symptoms was slower in the three treatment groups than in those taking placebo, and benefits were strongest in the group receiving 1200 mg/day (44% less reduction in cognition, motor function, and daily activities). CoQ10 was safe and well-tolerated at all three dosage levels. As expected, those taking CoQ10 showed significant increases both in serum levels of CoQ10 and in mitochondrial energy production.

The research was published in the October 15 issue of the Archives of Neurology (59, 10:1541-50, 2002).

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