Today the Parkinson Study Group published in JAMA Neurology that with medical supervision, it is possible to safely raise levels of the antioxidant urate by taking the urate precursor inosine. Previous research showed that higher urate levels were associated with lower risk and slower progression of Parkinsonís disease.
One quick, very important note: Inosine is available commercially as a dietary supplement, but patients should act with caution. Inosine has not been proven as a therapy for Parkinsonís, and in the absence of medical supervision, it can cause serious side effects such as gout, kidney stones and possibly high blood pressure. As with all early-stage research, itís critical to discuss any medications or natural supplements with your physician before taking them.
The Michael J. Fox Foundation invested more than $5 million in this study, Safety of Urate Elevation in Parkinson's Disease (SURE-PD). Inosine could become a disease-modifying treatment for Parkinson's disease, used to prevent or slow the disease.
Lead investigator Michael Schwarzschild, MD, PhD, of Massachusetts General Hospital spoke to MJFF Contributing Editor Dave Iverson about the study and next steps.
ďPreliminary data from the study certainly have been supportive of the potential for slowing down the disease, but a really definitive engagement of that hypothesis requires a much larger trial, and thatís what weíre on the threshold of pursuing here,Ē said Michael.
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