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Trial Into Antioxidant for Parkinson's Disease Yields Disappointing Results

By Cara MurezHealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Sept. 17, 2021 (HealthDay News) – Researchers hoped to show that the natural antioxidant urate could delay Parkinson's disease progression, but a study completed at Massachusetts General Hospital dashed those expectations.

Nearly 300 people were enrolled in the trial, nearly all of whom had been diagnosed with Parkinson's early disease. This affects the motor system and brain. There are no treatments for Parkinson's disease, which causes symptoms like tremors, rigid limbs and balance difficulties.

The research team found no significant difference in the rate of disease progression for those given the metabolite inosine for two years compared to the placebo group.

Inosine raises levels of urate in the brain and blood. Preclinical studies have shown it to be neuroprotective.

The inosine did not prove beneficial, and those who received it also had an increased rate of kidney stones, according to the study.

"The convergence of epidemiological, biological and clinical data from past research made a compelling argument that elevating urate, the main antioxidant circulating in the blood, could protect against the oxidative damage thought to play a role in Parkinson's disease," said senior author Dr. Michael Schwarzschild, a neurologist at Mass General and a professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School.

In a hospital press release, he said: "Though our study didn't rule out the protective effects of urate on Parkinson's disease, it showed that increasing urine did not slow down disease progression based clinical assessments and serial bran scanning."

Schwarzschild acknowledged that although the study didn't answer any questions about disease progression it was useful in other aspects.

Schwarzschild said that "the findings were very useful in providing a reality-check that now allows for the field to pursue other therapeutic approaches." We also gained valuable information about Parkinson's clinical trials science and how to carry out future research that increases their chances of success.

The findings were published Sept. 14 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

More information

The Parkinson's Foundation has more on Parkinson's disease.

SOURCE : Massachusetts General Hospital Harvard University press release September 14, 2021