My World of Parkinsonian Delights

PD Research

CoQ10 Shot Down as Parkinson’s Panacea

Is CoQ10 a Parkinson’s Panacea?

I remember around 2002-2003, when I was weaning myself off of levodopa (I figured and my neurologist at the time agreed that my symptoms weren’t all that bad unmedicated, so we felt we could put off the side effects of L-Dopa therapy by putting it off for a few years). All the talk in Parky Land was about the nutritional supplement CoQ10.  All sorts of anecdotal stories on the Parky chat boards about how someone knew someone who took CoQ10 for a month and was all better now… that sort of thing.

I asked my neurologist at the time what he thought of all this.  He said there was no credible scientific evidence to support any of the claims.  However…

“It’s like my mama used to say about eating chicken soup when you have a cold.  It couldn’t hurt!”

Well, CoQ10 is expensive.  I had been taking it for a little while and hadn’t seen any noticeable benefit, so after talking to the neurologist I just stopped taking it.

Now, it turns out my neurologist was right.  It’s not a bad thing for you.  It just doesn’t do much for Parkinson’s disease.

The mitochondria is the part of the cells that produces energy. The first step in producing energy in the mitochondria is Complex I (NADH : ubiquinone oxidoreductase). In people with Parkinson’s Disease, Complex I is reduced in activity in the substantia nigra, which is the part of the brain primarily affected in Parkinson’s Disease. Complex I needs Coenzyme Q10 in order to function properly. However, energy production has no direct effect on increasing dopamine formation  It has been claimed that Coenzyme Q10 is a potent antioxidant that can partially recover the function of dopaminergic neurons (the cells involved in Parkinson’s Disease).

Coenzyme Q10 was found to be completely ineffective in Parkinson’s Disease in daily doses of 200mg, 300mg, 400mg, 600mg, and 800mg. Only one Coenzyme Q10 study has ever shown any improvement in Parkinson’s Disease, using 360mg, but the effects were mild and were only assessed for four weeks. Daily doses of 300mg, 600mg and 1200 mg of Coenzyme Q10 failed to improve the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease, but reduced the rate of deterioration. Coenzyme Q10 was safe to use in doses of 1200mg, 1800mg, 2400, and 3000. Plasma levels of Coenzyme Q10 did not increase in doses above 2400mg.

So, keep shelling out big bux for the CoQ10… or get a can of chicken noodle soup.  You’ll get the same result.

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Studies That Make You Say “Duh?”

Sometimes I’ll stumble across one of these Parkinson’s disease studies, and my first reaction will be, “Duh?  You didn’t, like, KNOW that?  From LOOKING?”

This one for instance. A study on the impact and factors associated with drooling and Parkinson’s disease.

Guess what they came up with as a conclusion?

PD droolers had worse quality of life and had more difficulty speaking, eating and socially interacting compared to PD non-droolers.


Do you know a drooler who ENJOYS drooling?  Did they think it was EASIER to talk when you’ve got a mouthful of saliva?  Did they think EATING might just be a LITTLE easier with a yap full of drool?  And social interactions?  Margaret, PLEASE!

“Oh, hello Mabel.  (Slurp!)  That’s a lovely dress you’re wearing.  (Sluuuuurp!)  Oh, the bib? (Drool.)  Whoops!  Some got away that time.  (Slurrrrrp!)  Well, I guess that answered the question for you, didn’t it?  (Slurrrrrp.)  So, what’s the plan?  (Awwwwk…. hawwwwwwwwk….. gag…. guh!)  Sorry,  A little went down the wrong way.  (Slup.)  What do you say we go get some corn on the cob?  (Slurrrrrrrrrrp!)”

I’m sure there must be something I’m missing here, some deep scientific THING they needed to determine in this study, but the results just kinda floored me.  I drooled in public one time, I mean REALLY drooled, bent over and had a string of saliva slip from my lips to the mall floor.  I was humiliated.

Seems by using common sense we could save quite a bit of research money.  But that’s just me, I guess.

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More from the Parky-o-Sphere

Some of these seem rather simplistic, others heartbreaking and touching.  But here’s what’s being said on the web today about Parkinson’s disease.

These diseases include Tourette’s syndrome and Huntington’s disease. Presently, 120, 000 people in Britain are suffering from Parkinson’s disease. The research is still at a rudimentary stage and it could prove very helpful for such … — Thu, 08 Jul 2010 08:40:09 -0700
Dr. Dee Silver presents information on new drug treatments for Parkinson’s Disease. Series: MDTV (Medical Doctor Television) — Thu, 08 Jul 2010 07:35:02 -0700
The finished paintings show Rochambeau’s 680-mile trek through nine states to the battle of Yorktown that secured America’s independence from Great Britain. Parkinson’s disease affects the nervous system and has no cure, Wagner said. … — Thu, 08 Jul 2010 06:45:20 -0700
A new study that has identified how key circuits in the brain control movement could treat movement related disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease. — Thu, 08 Jul 2010 06:24:07 -0700
Common heart medications may also protect against Parkinson’s disease, study finds. In the first large-scale population-based study of its kind, researchers have found that a specific type of medication used to treat such cardiovascular … — Thu, 08 Jul 2010 05:41:17 -0700
Little Monster Stole My Smile – Parkinson’s Disease and Depression. Image : Serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine are all chemicals that are involved in regulating mood, energy, motivation, appetite and sleep. … — Thu, 08 Jul 2010 05:28:42 -0700
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It’s a Parky Blog-o-RAMA!

So, I guess I’m not totally useless.  I can still dig through the Internet tubes to find the stuff about how people are working to find better treatments and, eventually, cure Parkinson’s disease.


“Falls are a major problem for people with Parkinson’s disease and can lead to injuries and reduced mobility, which can result in increasing weakness, loss of independence and increased use of nursing homes,” Graham K. Kerr, … — Thu, 24 Jun 2010 09:00:18 -0700

Parkinson’s Disease – A Quick Guide · Would you like to see a shining example of ignorant conservative thinking? I asked the following question:? Is there different types of parkinsons diseases? I’ll Hold Your Hand So You Won’t Fall: A … — Thu, 24 Jun 2010 08:54:59 -0700

Parkinson’s Disease has no definitive test. So, when two neurologists tell you you have PD, and another one tells you you suffer from stress and arthritis – whom do you believe? I believe myself. I believe I have tremors, stiffness, … — Thu, 24 Jun 2010 08:24:00 -0700

Objective To compare survival, life expectancies (LE), and the anticipated age at the time of death (AAD), in a community-based cohort of Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients with and without significant cognitive impairment, … — Thu, 24 Jun 2010 07:50:42 -0700
Personal, accessible, informative A guide for Parkinson patients and their caregivers that addresses the body and the spirit Written by an expert team of health-care professionals-including a neuro. — Thu, 24 Jun 2010 04:52:25 -0700

Ever Had Trouble with Head Room on a Plane?

Ever had problems with head room on an airplane?  Not like this, you haven’t…

Sometimes you see a story, and you just gotta shake your head.  If you still have one, that is.  If you don’t, maybe Southwest Airline has found it found it for you!

Dozens of human heads were intercepted by a Southwest Airlines employee last week, the airline confirmed Thursday.

The heads, which were intercepted in Little Rock, Ark., were handed over to local officials who are now investigating whether or not the heads were properly obtained.

Southwest officials said the airline refused to ship the package because it was not labeled correctly. “And then when we found out what was in the package, we contacted local authorities and they contacted the coroner,” said airline spokesman Marilee McInnish.

Well, ANY fool knows ya gotta label a box of human heads correctly!  They ain’t cabbages, ya know?

So… where were these heads headed?

The package was on its way to the Fort Worth office of Medtronic, a Minnesota-based medical research and technology company, NBC’s affiliate in Dallas Fort-Worth reported. Little Rock police handed the package over to the country coroner.

The coroner is currently investigating whether the heads were legally obtained.

“We’ve come to the conclusion that there is a black market out there for human body parts for research or for whatever reason,” Pulaski County coroner Garland Camper told NBC Dallas Fort-Worth. “We just want to make sure these specimens here aren’t a part of that black market and underground trade.”

Well, Medtronic is HARDLY the sort of company that would be involved in something so ghoulish as stealing peoples’ heads.  I imagine there was a paperwork snafu somewhere.  Medtronic is the company that makes the deep brain stimulation hardware that gets planted in your noodle and under your collarbone.

Unless this was some sort of repossession for non-payment…

No.  No!  I can’t make my mind go there.  I’m guessing these were donated heads of people who either had Parkinson’s disease or deep brain stimulation for some other reason so that Medtronic can examine the brains for research purposes.

A Medtronic spokesman told NBC that JLS Consulting LLC, based in Conway, Ark., was the supplier of the heads in this instance.

The founder of JLS told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that nothing was wrong, and that her company was providing authorities with the proper documentation.

Well, that’s a relief.  And let’s all hope there’s something to be learned over this SNAFU.

Southwest is now working to educate the parties involved in the shipment of the heads on proper protocol for body-part shipments, McInnish said.

See?  Nothing to lose your head over.

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