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Landmark study shows coenzyme Q10 slows progressive decline in Parkinsons disease

In the first study of its type, researchers at Emory University and nine other centers nationwide have determined that a naturally occurring compound called coenzyme Q10 can slow progressive deterioration associated with the early stages of Parkinson's disease up to 44 percent. This is the first time a study has shown that any nutrient or vitamin might play a role in slowing the progression of PD. The greatest benefits were seen in motor skills and activities of daily living, such as walking, dressing, feeding and bathing. The results of this study will be published in the Oct. 15 issue of the American Medical Association's Archives of Neurology and will be discussed at the annual meeting of the American Neurological Association in New York City, also on Oct. 15.

"The study was designed to test the hypothesis that high doses of coenzyme Q10 would slow the progression of Parkinson's, as measured by movement difficulty or disability," says Ray Watts, M.D., professor of neurology, Emory University School of Medicine, and lead investigator of the Emory study. "We are very encouraged with the results of this small trial, which consisted of 80 Parkinson's patients nationwide. However, a larger, multi-centered, controlled trial is still needed before this treatment can be recommended to patients with a high degree of certainty."

Parkinson's disease is a progressive disorder of the central nervous system affecting over one million people in the United States. Symptoms include tremor, slowness of movement and stiffness of muscles. Although certain medications, such as levodopa or L-dopa, can reduce the symptoms of PD, they do not slow the progressive deterioration in function.

Scientific evidence shows that mitochondrial function is impaired in Parkinson's disease patients. Mitochondria produce energy for the cells. Research also shows that levels of coenzyme Q10, which the body uses to aid in energy production, are reduced in the mitochondria of P
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Contact: Janet Christenbury
jmchris@emory.edu
404-727-8599
Emory University Health Sciences Center
14-Oct-2002


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