Coq10 Shows Promise For Huntingtons Disease

CoQ10 shows promise for Huntington's disease

CoQ10 shows promise for Huntington's disease

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."

What's Hot

Berry brain benefit

What's Hot

A review published online on January 23, 2012 in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry describes a multitude of positive effects for berries on neurologic function. "A growing body of preclinical and clinical research has identified neurological benefits associated with the consumption of berry fruits," write Marshall G. Miller and Barbara Shukitt-Hale, PhD of Tufts University in their introduction to the article. "In addition to their now well-known antioxidant effects, dietary supplementation with berry fruits also has direct effects on the brain. Intake of these fruits may help to prevent age-related neurodegeneration and resulting changes in cognitive and motor function."

Berries have antioxidant effects, such as that demonstrated for mulberry in Parkinson's disease. Wolfberry, also called gogi berry, may have direct neuroprotective effects that are independent of its antioxidant benefits. In animal studies, blueberries have been associated with a variety of brain benefits, including a reduction in age-related increases in nuclear factor-kappa beta. Aged rats given blueberries, cranberries or blackberries have better balance and control, and a reduction in amyloid beta has been observed in association with blueberry intake in mice bred to develop specific aspects of Alzheimer's disease. In humans with mild cognitive impairment, daily consumption of blueberry juice resulted in improved word list recall and better performance in comparison with subjects who receive a placebo.

"Given that neurodegeneration and cognitive decline are chronic processes, throughout adulthood, future research should also identify critical periods during which increased consumption of berry fruits is most effective and the extent to which berry fruits prevent or even reverse the deleterious effects of aging," the authors conclude. "Furthermore, the optimal dietary intake, necessary duration of supplementation, and longevity of the effects following the cessation of supplementation should also be explored."

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