Researchers have found that an antioxidant associated with gout could slow the progression of Parkinson’s disease.
The research, funded by the US government and other private organisations, reviewed data collected from sufferers of Parkinson’s in the 1980s to find out if urate in the blood and cerebrospinal fluid had any benefits for patients.
It found that, while there was no immediate proof that raising urate levels could fight Parkinson’s disease, patients and doctors were able to predict the course of the illness more easily.
Margaret Sutherland, of the US Government’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders said: “Effective treatments for Parkinson’s disease have been elusive.
“This study has identified urate as a bio-marker for the progression of the disease and suggests a potential new pathway for targeted therapy development.”
Diets linked with gout, such as those high in liver, seafood, dried beans and peas have been proven to increase the levels of urate.