Coenzyme Q10 is an antioxidant supplement that is ingested orally. However, it’s efficiency is limited. But, animal research on rats specifically, has shown that it can reduce the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease if it is injected directly.
The research was published in Scientific Reports. Parkinson’s disease is primarily caused by the degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in the brain that produces dopamine. Researchers assume that the degeneration of neurons is caused by oxidative stress which is dangerous for cells.
Antioxidants may be more important than estimated in Parkinson’s Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), which itself is an organic antioxidant in the human body, which evoked interest. However, oral ingestion, a limited amount of the antioxidant reaches the striatum, thus causing limitations in its benefits.
In recent research, researchers in Korea tested the levels of therapeutic effects after injection CoQ10 into the striatum, through no other medium, instead of oral ingestion. This was tested on an animal study, specifically rats.
The rats developed Parkinson’s disease after they were given 6-hydroxydopamine, which is a chemical that degenerates the neurons that produce dopamine. They were then separated into five distinct groups.
The first group – No treatment was received
The second group – They were given CoQ10 orally with a higher than 45mg daily dose.
The third group – They were given CoQ10 via injection into the striatum with a dose of 1.8 micrograms daily.
The fourth group – They were given CoQ10 via injection into the striatum with a dose of 2.6 micrograms daily.
They used a rotation test to analyze the behavior of the rats. Rats with severe dopaminergic neuron damage will tend to rotate more number of times.
In untreated rats, the rate and number of rotations gradually rose from 4 to 7 weeks. Rats who received CoQ10 orally had shown by weeks 6 and 7, significantly lower rotations in comparison to untreated rats.
The researchers explained that the delay in efficacy could contribute to the delay in the rise in CoQ10 concentration in the brain which usually seen after oral ingestion of the antioxidant.
Rats that were injected with 1.8 micrograms of CoQ10 show lesser rotations than the untreated rats. However, the difference in rotations was significant in measurements only in weeks 5 and 6. However, rats injected with 2.6 micrograms of CoQ10 had lesser rotations than the untreated group of rats, with a significant difference at every week.
The cumulative dose for the highest injection dose is almost 17,000 times lesser than the over dose ingested orally. This suggests that there is an increased bioavailability offered by CoQ10 injected directly into the striatum, according to the researchers.
The doctors analyzed the dopaminergic neurons in the brains of the rats collected for biopsy. Untreated rats had dead dopaminergic neurons by the end of the experiment. However, rats who received oral COQ10, showed somewhat safety for their dopaminergic neurons.
Major neuronal protection was seen in rats who received increased dosage of CoQ10 injected directly into the striatum. Researchers explained that this implies significant neuronal protection with higher bioavailability when injected directly.
Rats that received the antioxidants via direct injections showed significantly increased levels of molecules linked with growth of blood vessels and neurons. Moreover, they had reduced levels of the tumor necrosis factor alpha in comparison to untreated rats.
Researchers concluded that despite being invasive, the method of CoQ10 delivery may still potentially enhance higher bioavailability in the target site with possible achievement of therapeutic efficacy which could prevent the progressing symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
Although an animal study model, it shows a lot of promise. Researchers are very hopeful after the positive and significant results from this research and how a change in the administration of the antioxidant could be so beneficial.