Co Q10 shows little promise in Huntington's Disease.

Date:

27-Aug-2001

Source

Neurology

Related Monographs

Consumer Data: Coenzyme Q10 (CO-Q10)
Professional Data: Coenzyme Q10 (CO-Q10)

Article

Huntington’s disease is an inherited genetic disorder that to date has no cure. The characteristics of the disease involve both dementia and physical deterioration. In the early stages of the disease, the patient may present with symptoms that are similar in nature to bi-polar disorder such as mood swings, angry out-bursts, excitability, and even psychosis. The physical manifestations include restless limbs, slowness of movement, and stiffness. New technology has localized the responsible gene, and presymptomatic and even prenatal testing may eventually be available.1
Efforts to find new treatments to slow the progression or manage the symptoms continue. One such study compared the effects of two different types of treatment. This randomized, double-blind, parallel group clinical trial involved 347 participants with early Huntington's Disease (HD). These participants were randomized to one of four groups; coenzyme Q10 300 mg twice daily, remacemide hydrochloride 200 mg three times daily, both, or neither. Remacemide is one of the newer drugs that are used for treating Parkinson's disease. This drug appears to have few side effects but is usually used in a multi-drug therapy program.
Co-Q10 is an important fat-soluble antioxidant that is uniquely able to protect the cells' energy producing machinery, known as mitochondria, from free radical damage. It is also necessary for the production of energy in all cells of the body. While limited, there have been successful clinical studies on Co-Q10 and muscular dystrophy and neurogenic atrophies.2
Participants in this study were evaluated every 4 to 5 months over a 30 month period of time. The change in total functional capacity of the participants between beginning tests and the evaluations at the end of the 30 months served as the primary measure of efficacy. While the participants receiving coenzyme Q10 did show a trend toward a slowing in the decline of their total functional capacity, the authors of the study determined that the findings did not represent changes that were significant. The authors concluded that "neither remacemide nor coenzyme Q10 at the dosages studied, produced significant slowing in functional decline in early HD."3

References

1. Stewart JT, Huntington's disease. Am Fam Physician 1988 May;37(5):105-14.
2. Folkers K, et al. Two Successful Double-blind Trials with Coenzyme Q10 (Vitamin Q10) on Muscular Dystrophies and Neurogenic Atrophies. Biochem Biophys Acta. May1995;1271(1):281-86.
3. A randomized, placebo-controlled trial of coenzyme Q10 and remacemide in Huntington's disease. Neurology. Aug 2001;57(3).