Mucuna pruriens for Parkinson's disease: Low-cost preparation method, laboratory measures and pharmacokinetics profile

Erica Cassani, Roberto Cilia, Janeth Laguna, Michela Barichella, Manuela Contin, Emanuele Cereda, Ioannis U. Isaias, Francesca Sparvoli, Albert Akpalu, Kwabena Ofosu Budu, Maria Teresa Scarpa, Gianni Pezzoli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background Parkinson's disease (PD) is a progressive neurological condition. Levodopa (LD) is the gold standard therapy for PD patients. Most PD patients in low-income areas cannot afford long-term daily Levodopa therapy. The aim of our study was to investigate if Mucuna pruriens (MP), a legume with high LD content that grows in tropical regions worldwide, might be potential alternative for poor PD patients. Methods We analyzed 25 samples of MP from Africa, Latin America and Asia. We measured the content in LD in various MP preparations (dried, roasted, boiled). LD pharmacokinetics and motor response were recorded in four PD patients, comparing MP vs. LD + Dopa-Decarboxylase Inhibitor (DDCI) formulations. Results Median LD concentration in dried MP seeds was 5.29%; similar results were obtained in roasted powder samples (5.3%), while boiling reduced LD content up to 70%. Compared to LD + DDCI, MP extract at similar LD dose provided less clinical benefit, with a 3.5-fold lower median AUC. Conclusion Considering the lack of a DDCI, MP therapy may provide clinical benefit only when content of LD is at least 3.5-fold the standard LD + DDCI. If long-term MP proves to be safe and effective in controlled clinical trials, it may be a sustainable alternative therapy for PD in low-income countries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-180
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the Neurological Sciences
Volume365
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 15 2016

Keywords

  • Levodopa
  • Mucuna pruriens
  • Parkinson's disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Mucuna pruriens for Parkinson's disease: Low-cost preparation method, laboratory measures and pharmacokinetics profile'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Cassani, E., Cilia, R., Laguna, J., Barichella, M., Contin, M., Cereda, E., Isaias, I. U., Sparvoli, F., Akpalu, A., Budu, K. O., Scarpa, M. T., & Pezzoli, G. (2016). Mucuna pruriens for Parkinson's disease: Low-cost preparation method, laboratory measures and pharmacokinetics profile. Journal of the Neurological Sciences, 365, 175-180. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jns.2016.04.001