N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) Offers New Hope For Parkinson's Disease
NAC is best known for its powerful antioxidant abilities and liver benefits. Now a new study shows it helps to improve Parkinson's disease.
This exciting new research was published in the journal Plos One. When clinical evaluation of the patients' mental and physical abilities was combined with brain imaging scans that tracked the levels of dopamine, the patients who received NAC improved in both areas. The research was carried out by doctors from the Departments of Integrative Medicine, Neurology, and Radiology, at Thomas Jefferson University.
An inability of the brain to produce dopamine is thought to be the cause of Parkinson's disease. A number of factors can cause this. Current treatments for Parkinson's disease are not terribly effective; they are designed to replace dopamine and slow down the progression of the disease. Recently, studies have shown that oxidative stress in the brain actually plays a critical role in the development and progression of Parkinson's disease. The oxidative stress lowers levels of glutathione, which is your body's own antioxidant and designed to protect your brain from oxidative damage. Research conducted on brain cells shows that NAC helps to reduce oxidative damage to neurons by helping to replenish the levels of glutathione.
According to lead researcher doctor Daniel Monti, "This study reveals a potential new avenue for managing Parkinson's patients and shows that n-acetylcysteine may have a unique physiological effect that alters the disease process and enables dopamine neurons to recover some function". This is an extremely promising finding because most people consider Parkinson's disease to be a progressive, untreatable disease. It causes a great deal of stress and suffering to those affected and their families. NAC has so many beneficial functions in the body.
Oxidative stress speeds up the rate of aging and health decline. Any part of the body can be affected, from the heart to the kidneys, joints, eyes or brain. NAC is the precursor of glutathione, and taking a supplement can help ensure you have sufficient levels in your body.
Daniel A. Monti, George Zabrecky, Daniel Kremens, Tsao-Wei Liang, Nancy A. Wintering, Jingli Cai, Xiatao Wei, Anthony J. Bazzan, Li Zhong, Brendan Bowen, Charles M. Intenzo, Lorraine Iacovitti, Andrew B. Newberg. N-Acetyl Cysteine May Support Dopamine Neurons in Parkinson's Disease: Preliminary Clinical and Cell Line Data. PLOS ONE, 2016; 11 (6): e0157602