Life Extension Update
Friday, June 22, 2012. Research conducted by Kevin M. Biglan, MD, MPH of the University of Rochester and his colleagues, described in the inaugural issue of the Journal of Huntington's Disease, provides more evidence for the use of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) to retard Huntington disease's progression. Huntington's disease is a neurodegenerative disorder caused by a genetic error that produces abnormal proteins in the brain's cells. Scientists believe that these protein deposits result in oxidative stress that ultimately kills the cells that contain them.
CoQ10, due to its support of the cells' mitochondria and its antioxidant effect, has been investigated as a possible agent to treat Huntington's disease. The current research evaluated 14 Huntington's disease patients and 6 healthy controls that had been given CoQ10 in a clinical trial known as Pre-2Care. Participants in Pre-2Care received 1200 milligrams CoQ10 daily for eight weeks and 3600 milligrams per day for the remaining 12 weeks of the study.
Stored blood samples obtained at the beginning and end of the treatment period were analyzed for serum 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine (8OHdG), which has been correlated with the presence of oxidative stress in the brain's cells and has been found to be elevated in those with Huntington's disease and other neurologic disorders. While the Pre-2Care study had found a reduction in Huntington's disease symptoms after treatment with CoQ10, the current research uncovered a 20 percent reduction in 8OHdG levels in CoQ10-treated Huntington's disease patients as well as a nonsignificant reduction in subjects who did not have the disease. "Identifying treatments that slow the progression or delay the onset of Huntington's disease is a major focus of the medical community," observed Dr Biglan, who is a neurologist at the University of Rochester Medical Center. "This study demonstrates that 8OHdG could be an ideal marker to identify the presence oxidative injury and whether or not treatment is having an impact."
He noted that "While the current data can't address the use of 8OHdG as a surrogate marker for the clinical effectiveness of antioxidants in Huntington's disease, we've established that 8OHdG can serve as a marker of the pharmacological activity of an intervention."
"This study supports the hypothesis that CoQ exerts antioxidant effects in patients with Huntington's disease and therefore is a treatment that warrants further study," he concluded. "As importantly, it has provided us with a new method to evaluate the efficacy of potential new treatments."
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