Italian researchers found that when used along with standard medication, Normast (ultra-micronized palmitoylethanolamide, or um-PEA) helped lower both motor and non-motor symptoms in patients with advanced Parkinson’s disease (PD), and slowed disease progression and disability.
The study, “Ultra-micronized palmitoylethanolamide: an efficacious adjuvant therapy for Parkinson’s disease,” appeared in the journal CNS & Neurological Disorders – Drug Targets.
Parkinson’s patients gradually lose control of movement, with symptoms worsening over time. Current medications slow the disease’s progress, but do not stop it. The study says um-PEA is well-known for its ability to fight inflammation of neurons in the brain and protect them. In Italy, um-PEA is marketed as a food under the brand name Normast.
In this study, 30 Parkinson’s patients averaging 73 years of age received 1,200 mg a day of Normast for three months, along with Levadopa (L-DOPA) and other Parkinson’s medications in some cases, and then given 600 mg daily for up to a year.
Researchers used the Motor Disease Society Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (MDS-UPDRS) to evaluate motor and non-motor symptoms of Parkinson’s in their patients. The MDS-UPDRS questionnaire covers four sections: nonmotor aspects of daily living experience, motor aspects of daily living experience, motor examination and motor complications.
After 12 months, non-motor symptoms scores, using the Non-Motor Aspects of Experiences of Daily Living scale, had fallen from 9.7 to 4.5 in patients receiving Normast and Levadopa (L-DOPA). The average score on the Motor Aspects of Experiences of Daily Living scale dropped from 12.7 to 7.6 over the one-year period, while the average total motor complication score dropped from 8.8 to 4.2. Normast caused no side effects.
The researchers said their findings are similar to those from rodent studies.
“Addition of um-PEA to PD patients receiving levadopa therapy elicited a significant and progressive reduction in the total MDS-UPDRS score (parts I, II, III and IV). For each item, the mean score difference between baseline and end of um-PEA treatment showed a significant reduction in most non-motor and motor symptoms. The number of patients with symptoms at basal was reduced after one year of um-PEA treatment,” they reported, concluding that “um-PEA may be an efficacious adjuvant therapy for PD.”