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Slower progression of Parkinson's 'linked to high levels of urate'

Slower progression of Parkinson's 'linked to high levels of urate'
16th October 2009

Elevated levels of urate, a natural antioxidant, have been linked to the slower progression of Parkinson's disease, a report due to be published later this year has concluded.

Scientists at the Harvard School for Public Health on the other side of the Atlantic have reviewed blood samples from over 700 people with Parkinson's disease.

After comparing the levels of urate in their blood samples and cerebrospinal fluid, it was discovered that people with naturally-elevated levels of urate had a slow progression of the condition.

Dr Kieran Breen, the director of research at the Parkinson's Disease Society, said of the results: "Biomarkers, which are pointers that reflect the progression of Parkinson's, like urate, will help us to diagnose people more accurately and monitor the condition more closely.

"However, it's important to remember that urate can have undesirable side effects and would need to be closely monitored. It wouldn't be suitable for everybody."

It may prove to be good news for a lot of people, as it is estimated that one in 500 people has the condition.

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