Carnosine and Parkinson Disease

Parkinson disease is a chronic neurodegenerative disease characterized by progressive loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia ‘nigra pars compacta’ (SNPC). The development of Parkinson disease in patients becomes clinically manifested as severe motor symptoms, including uncontrolled resting tremor, bradykinesia, rigidity, and postural imbalance.

The main cause of this disease, at the level of atoms, are free radicals and their toxic metabolites that destroy certain cells of the brain. H2O2 and TPA (tetranozolphorbol acetate) are two such free radicals which can prematurely destroy brain cells. Carnosine prevents the formation of these radicals and thereby protect the brain cells from damage.

Also, the so-called Lewi bodies in the brain of those affected by Parkinson’s disease, accumulate a substance called α-synuclein, which accelerates the process of development of this disease. Alpha-synuclein generates oxidative stress. Carnosine can reduce oxidative stress and the accumulation of α – synuclein.

Therefore, Karnozin Extra is recommended as an additional treatment for Parkinson’s disease, as well as for the prevention of the same.

It is thought that mitochondrial dysfunction as a result of oxidative damage plays an important role in Parkinson’s. Carnosine has been shown to suppress the type of oxidative damage linked with Parkinson’s.

MPTP is a neurotoxin that induces symptoms linked to Parkinson’s (short term tremor, weight loss, rigidity etc.). One study found that, in animals, Carnosine (100mg/kg for 14 days) decreased the severity of MPTP-induced symptoms. This corresponded with lower levels of lipid hydroperoxides and MAO B activity in their brains.

Studies have shown that patients with Parkinson’s often have damaged glyceraldehyde dehydrogenase, an important enzyme found in the frontal cortex of the brain. This damage leads to decreased ATP production and increased production of the highly toxic agent, methylglyoxal. Carnosine protects against damage to the glyceraldehyde dehydrogenase enzyme.

L- carnosine also promotes protein balance by decreasing methylglyoxal, which is often raised in those with Parkinson’s. The brain’s substantia nigra, the section where dopamine is made, is prone to reaction with methylglyoxal, especially in the presence of high blood sugar. This harmful reaction is prevented by Carnosine.

Carnosine inhibits malondialdehyde (MDA) toxicity in neuronal cells and limits the formation of protein carbonyls and protein cross-linking associated with Parkinson’s.

L-dopa is often used as a way to maintain dopamine levels in Parkinson’s sufferers. Unfortunately, some of the by-products of L-dopa are neurotoxic (e.g. those containing aldehyde groups). Carnosine neutralizes these toxic compounds and, therefore, is a fantastic supplement to combine with L-dopa therapy. In fact, one study showed that a combination of L-dopa and Carnosine treatment (1.5 g/day) improved a number of neurological symptoms, such as rigidity of the hands and legs, and increased hand movement and leg agility. This corresponded to a decrease in protein carbonyls in the blood.