Could Mucuna pruriens be the answer to Parkinson's disease management in sub-Saharan Africa and other low-income countries worldwide?

Natasha Fothergill-Misbah, Harshvadan Maroo, Momodou Cham, Gianni Pezzoli, Richard Walker, Roberto Cilia

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

Abstract

Parkinson's disease (PD) is a progressive, disabling, neurodegenerative disease that requires long term care and pharmaceutical treatment. Levodopa remains the gold standard treatment for PD globally, although it is largely unavailable and unaffordable for the majority of patients in many sub-Saharan African and other low-income countries (LICs). We suggest the potential for Mucuna pruriens (MP), a leguminous plant, to replace or supplement levodopa-based medicines in countries where levodopa is unaffordable and inaccessible due to its low costs of preparation and high natural availability. MP has been shown to induce a great improvement of motor symptoms with few adverse events in recent studies. However, caution is important until more robust data on the long-term safety of MP are available. We believe that MP could potentially be part of the answer to affordable, symptomatic treatment of PD in LICs worldwide.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-7
Number of pages5
JournalParkinsonism and Related Disorders
Volume73
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020

Keywords

  • Levodopa
  • Low-income countries
  • Mucuna pruriens
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Clinical Neurology

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