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N-acetyl cysteine is associated with dopaminergic enhancement in Parkinson’s disease

N-acetyl cysteine is associated with dopaminergic enhancement in Parkinson’s disease

This study investigated the biological and clinical effects of N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC), the prodrug to L-cysteine, a precursor of the natural biological antioxidant glutathione, in patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD). Forty-two patients with PD were randomized to receive either weekly intravenous infusions of NAC (50 mg/kg) plus oral doses (500 mg twice daily) for three months or standard treatment only.

Participants received pre- and postbrain imaging with ioflupane (DaTscan) to measure dopamine transporter (DAT) binding. Significantly increased DAT binding in the caudate and putamen (mean increase from 3.4% to 8.3%) and significant improvement in PD symptoms (P < 0.0001) were observed in the NAC group compared with controls (P < 0.05).

The results suggest that NAC may positively affect the dopaminergic system in patients with PD, with corresponding beneficial clinical effects.


Clin Pharmacol Ther.: N-Acetyl Cysteine Is Associated With Dopaminergic Improvement in Parkinson’s Disease

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