Friedreich’s Ataxia (FRDA) is a hereditary, neurodegenerative disease. There is progressively severe incoordination of the arms and legs to the point that the patient becomes incapacitated. There is associated heart muscle disease. It has been found, previously, that CoQ-10 benefits patients with FRDA.
High doses of Coenzyme Q-10 show marked benefit in most patients with FRDA. This human study was a double blind, randomized study of CoQ-10 in FRDA patients to see if CoQ-10 would prevent progression of the disease over a 2 year period.
The patients were divided into two groups. One received a low dose and the other group received a high dose of CoQ-10 and vitamin E. The end of the study was after two years of treatment. A standard test of ataxia was used. A control study was not possible in FRDA patients since so many people had heard about the benefits of CoQ-10 and had tried it on their own. The high and low doses of CoQ-10/vitamin E were 600 mg/2100IU and 30 mg/24 IU, respectively.
At the onset of the study, FRDA patients had low serum levels of CoQ-10 and vitamin E. Of these levels, 91% were severely below the normal mean for CoQ-10 and vitamin E. With treatment, the blood levels improved.
Over the two years of the study, the patients continued to deteriorate, as is normal with this problem. With treatment, 49% of all patients in both groups responded to treatment with slowing of their deterioration. High and low dose treatments were of equal benefit. Although patients continued to deteriorate, they had improvement in movement, posture and gait scores. Even the low dose CoQ-10/vitamin E treatment was beneficial.
CONCLUSION: Treatment of Friedreich’s Ataxia with a combination of CoQ-10 and vitamin E resulted in benefits in 49% of the patients treated. Even very low doses were useful. Read more about new treatments of Friedreich’s Ataxia.
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