Preventing Parkinson’s Disease

A new study has found that people who have high levels of urate are less likely to develop Parkinson’s disease.

The body naturally produces urate, the result of uric acid combining with a base substance. Gout is the result of too much urate.

However, urate has antioxidant properties. Researchers believe optimal levels of urate may help prevent damage to neurons found in the brain.

In their studies they found that people who had Parkinson’s were more likely to have low blood levels or urate.

The study primarily involves men and Caucasians, but researchers suspect the results will also apply to women and African Americans; further studies will be required to see if those suspicions bear out.

High levels of urate appeared to lower the risk of study participants developing Parkinson’s disease by 60 percent. Because this effect has been seen in other studies, researchers believe that the association between the disease and the chemical is causative.

Again, most previous studies have been among men. Additional studies will need to be conducted to confirm these findings and to see if the correlation is the same for women.

There is at present no cure for Parkinson’s disease. Treatment involves managing symptoms of the disease.