CoQ10 & Parkinson's Disease
Chester J. Zelasko, Ph.D. | October 22, 2002

Hope. That's what the latest study on the dietary supplement Coenzyme Q10 provides for persons with Parkinson's disease (1). Not a cure, not complete prevention, but a ray of hope that it may be possible to slow down the progression of this terrible disease. Let's examine what the study found and just as important, what it did not find.

Parkinson's disease is a degenerative disease of the nervous system that usually occurs in people over 50. The nature of the disease affects the ability of a person to control his or her muscular movements. This can result in tremors, erratic movements, and muscle rigidity. There is no known cause for Parkinson's disease although brain trauma or pharmaceuticals can cause Parkinson's symptoms. The deterioration of the neural system results in an erratic release of the neural transmitters that send signals activating the muscular system. The result is uncontrollable muscular movements. At present, there is no known cure for Parkinson's disease.

The latest research study examined the effects of varying amounts of CoQ10 on the progression of symptoms in people diagnosed with early Parkinson's disease. The study was well designed and executed and included 80 subjects who participated for 16 months. The subjects were given 0, 300, 600, or 1,200 mg of CoQ10 daily in the form of wafers. The researchers used the Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale as the criterion variable to examine the progression of the disease. Compliance to the study protocol was excellent, and there were no side effects reported to the high amounts of CoQ10 eaten daily. The results demonstrated that those subjects taking the highest amount of CoQ10 had the slowest progression of the disease.

So what do the results of this study mean? It means that high amounts of CoQ10 may delay the decline in motor skills that Parkinson's patients experience. In other words, it will not prevent the disease from progressing, but it may slow it down. The researchers caution that a larger clinical trial must be done before the results can be generalized. However, it is a significant first step.

Will taking CoQ10 prevent Parkinson's disease? That wasn't studied. Will it work at all stages of Parkinson's? They didn't examine that either. Taking CoQ10 is not a cure for the disease.

What should people with Parkinson's disease do? Talk with their physicians. As we always recommend at Better Life Unlimited, your physician should be your partner in both health and disease. Discuss using CoQ10 before purchasing this or any supplement. While there is much research to be done, this study has demonstrated that there is no harm nor adverse effects when using high amounts of CoQ10. If it won't hurt and the potential exists that it may help delay symptoms of the disease even a little, most physicians would probably conclude that it's worth a try.
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