Robert W. Griffith, MD
Here’s another ‘re-discovery’. In 1996 Honolulu scientists reported that, in a population of 8000 men, those with above average serum uric acid levels had a 40% reduction in their likelihood of later contracting Parkinson’s disease. This was reported in the American Journal of Epidemiology . The scientists suggested that the antioxidant properties of uric acid might protect against oxidative damage and nerve cell death in Parkinson ‘s. And they advised further research.
Eleven years later (last June, in fact) the same journal reported data from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, which comprised 18,000 men screened in1993-1995 and followed until 2000. 84 cases of Parkinson’s disease were matched with two controls by age, race, and time of blood collection. Then the participants were divided into quarters (quartiles) based on their serum uric acid. After corrections for age, smoking, and caffeine, those in the highest quartile were found to have a 55% lower likelihood of developing the disease than those in the lowest quartile. The principal investigator stated “”the data are very compelling, and if they are confirmed, urate could become the first biomarker of Parkinson’s disease”. Do we really need another study (in ten years’ time!) to re-discover this relationship?