CoQ10, Alzheimer’s Dementia and Neurodegenerative Diseases

Alzheimer's Dementia and Other Neurodegenerative DiseasesThe Time Magazine October 25, 2010 cover story did not mention nutrients, such as Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), that have been shown beneficial in scientific studies for dealing with Alzheimer’s disease.  Thus, I thought to briefly discuss CoQ10 here.

CoQ10 is a nutrient required by the mitochondria to produce cellular energy.  The cells in our bodies require energy.  Energy is produced by intracellular structures, called mitochondria.  Mitochondria are particularly abundant in the cells of the brain, heart and muscles. The mitochondria uses coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) to produce energy for proper cellular functioning.  All the cells of our body make CoQ10, though not always at adequate levels.

CoQ10 is also a very potent antioxidant.1  People suffering from Parkinson’s Disease have been found to have very low levels of CoQ10 in their mitochondria.2  This appears to be the same case in those with Alzheimer’s dementia.   Supplemental CoQ10 has been found to have a beneficial therapeutic effect in those with Parkinson’s Disease3, as well as Alzheimer’s Disease.4

References:

  1.  Lass A, Sohal R. Effect of coenzyme Q(10) and alpha-tocopherol content of mitochondria on the production of superoxide anion radicals. FASEB J. 2000;14:87-94.
  2.  Shults C. Coenzyme Q10 in neurodegenerative diseases. Current Medicinal Chemistry. 2003;10:1917-1921.
  3.  Shults C. Therapeutic role of coenzyme Q(10) in Parkinson’s disease. Pharmacol Ther. 2005;107(1):120-30.
  4.  Beal, M.  Mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative damage in alzheimer’s and parkinson’s diseases and coenzyme Q10 as a potential treatment. J. Bioenergetics and Biomembranes 2004;36:381-386.