Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Energy Supplement Under Study For Parkinson's Disease

Date:
March 23, 2007
Source:
Medical College of Georgia
Summary:
Whether a supplement used by athletes to boost energy levels and build muscle can slow progression of Parkinson's disease is the focus of a North American study.

Creatine, under study for a number of neurological and neuromuscular diseases such as Lou Gehrig’s and muscular dystrophy, may help Parkinson’s patients by giving an energy boost to dying cells, says Dr. Kapil D. Sethi, neurologist and director of the Movement Disorders Program at the Medical College of Georgia.
Credit: Image courtesy of Medical College of Georgia

Whether a supplement used by athletes to boost energy levels and build muscle can slow progression of Parkinson's disease is the focus of a North American study.

Creatine, under study for a number of neurological and neuromuscular diseases such as Lou Gehrig's and muscular dystrophy, may help Parkinson's patients by giving an energy boost to dying cells, says Dr. Kapil D. Sethi, neurologist and director of the Movement Disorders Program at the Medical College of Georgia.

"We think it may help cells that are damaged or overworked," says Dr. Sethi, a site principal investigator on the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke study. MCG hopes to recruit 45 patients for the study that will enroll 1,720 patients at 51 sites in the United States and Canada.

Mitochondria, the powerhouse for cells, become dysfunctional in the brain, muscle and platelet cells of many patients with Parkinson's disease, Dr. Sethi says. Powerhouse dysfunction is discernible in postmortem brain studies and in muscle biopsies and measures of platelet activity in the living.

"By giving more energy to the cell, you are giving them a safety margin," Dr. Sethi says. "If a cell is dying, it takes another route and that would be surviving."

The goal is to slow progression of a disease that affects about 1 million people in North America. Hallmarks include tremors, rigidity and slowed movement. Late in the disease, the majority of patients also develop dementia and behavior disorders.

Today's therapies -- including the gold standard, a synthetic dopamine called levodopa and MAO-B inhibitors that forestall breakdown of dopamine -- are geared toward treating symptoms. Dopamine, a neurotransmitter critical to movement, is depleted in Parkinson's. Researchers hope newer therapies, including creatine, can be added to the mix to help slow the disease.

The creatine study will enroll patients who have been on standard therapies from 90 days to two years and follow them for five years. Half the enrollees will get creatine and half placebo. The hope is for at least a 20 percent reduction in disease progression, so that at the end of five years, patients on creatine will look like placebo patients at four years, says Buff Dill, MCG study coordinator.

A number of methods will be used to periodically measure disease progression, including the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale.

Following disease progression over many years and measuring endpoints such as falling, nursing home placement, dementia and death is the only way to effectively assess treatment for a disease that typically progresses slowly, Dr. Sethi says. In fact, the study may be extended five more years, based on preliminary results and funding, he says.

Those who get creatine may have the added benefit of increased muscle, as is true of athletes, Dr. Sethi says, noting that many patients experience muscle atrophy and weight loss.

Although creatine is available over the counter, he believes Parkinson's patients will still be interested in the study. "Patients realize that we don't know if it works. They are willing to take the risk of being on placebo for the cause of science and to learn more about the disease," he says, noting the altruistic nature of many of his patients. "They want to beat this disease and if they can't, they want to help somebody else beat it."

Avicena Group, Inc., will provide creatine and placebo for this first large study in a series of National Institutes of Health-sponsored exploratory trials in Parkinson's.

MCG will participate in a similar study of coenzyme Q10, another natural supplement that boosts energy production, later this year. Dr. Sethi, project director of the Parkinson Research Alliance of India, which is working to bring more clinical trials to his homeland, plans to incorporate these supplements into innovative treatment cocktails that will be studied there.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Medical College of Georgia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Medical College of Georgia. "Energy Supplement Under Study For Parkinson's Disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 March 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070322105336.htm>.
Medical College of Georgia. (2007, March 23). Energy Supplement Under Study For Parkinson's Disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070322105336.htm
Medical College of Georgia. "Energy Supplement Under Study For Parkinson's Disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070322105336.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

AP (July 22, 2014) Two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on the legality of the federally-run healthcare exchange that operates in 36 states. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Newsy (July 22, 2014) Boston scientists have discovered a new way to create fully functioning human platelets using a bioreactor and human stem cells. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins