A new study has shown that men but not women who have higher urate concentrations had a lower future risk of developing Parkinson’s. It suggested that urate could be protective against risk for Parkinson’s and possibly could slow disease progression during the preclinical stage.
Urate is an antioxidant. Several studies have shown that patients with Parkinson’s who have high urate levels have a slower progression of their disease. This effect, however, has been seen only in men. The effect was also independent of age, smoking, caffeine, serum ferritin, and other possible risk factors.
The reason urate seems to help men and not women is unclear. Nevertheless, urate levels can be elevated by taking the precursor termed inosine, which is generally safe and tolerable. There will probably be a randomized trial of inosine in patients with early Parkinson’s.