Study shows lower caffeine, urate levels are inversely linked to Parkinson’s disease
A strong inverse association was also observed with plasma urate levels both in males and females. An equally large association between urate and PD risk was observed among women, in contrasts with most prior studies of the association between urate and idiopathic PD stratified by sex.
These findings support the generalizability of discoveries made with this cohort, which is well suited for deep analysis of relationships between dietary factors, genes, established and novel biomarkers, and clinical phenotypes of PD.
"The strength of this new study relates to the robust approach, including the large and carefully followed cohort of people living with PD and the comprehensive set of outcome measures. It is an important basis to further develop future disease-modifying approaches to slow down the decline of this otherwise relentlessly progressive condition," added Prof. Bas Bloem, Co-Editor-in-Chief of the journal.
The investigators caution that a recent large clinical trial of a urate-elevating treatment failed to demonstrate a benefit for people with PD over months to years. Thus, even though the current study strengthens the link between PD and lower urate levels, strategies to raise them may be harmful and cannot be recommended.
Caffeine has yet to be rigorously studied in a long-term PD trial, therefore increasing one's caffeine intake cannot be recommended. Nevertheless, people who currently enjoy caffeine in coffee or tea may take additional pleasure in knowing of its therapeutic even if unproven potential, they point out.
Identifying factors that are linked to lower likelihood of PD, such as caffeine consumption, offer a unique opportunity to understand the disease, and if the link were causal, then possibly to slow the disease." Rachit Bakshi, PhD, Lead Investigator, Department of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School
PD is a slowly progressive disorder that affects movement, muscle control and balance. It is the second most common age-related neurodegenerative disorder affecting about 3% of the population by the age of 65 and up to 5% of individuals over 85 years of age. Source:
IOS Press Journal reference:
Bakshi, R., et al . (2020) Associations of Lower Caffeine Intake and Plasma Urate Levels with Idiopathic Parkinson's Disease in the Harvard Biomarkers Study. Journal of Parkinson's Disease . doi.org/10.3233/JPD-191882 .
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