Can Any Supplements Help with Parkinson’s?

Q Do you know if any of your products may be of value to a Parkinson’s patient? My mother-in-law has a difficult time swallowing, talking, and walking. I would like to improve her ability to care for herself, but short of that, at least improve her ability to swallow so she does not develop aspiration pneumonia repeatedly. She cannot tolerate the medications for Parkinson’s, because they cause her confusion and hallucinations. I would be grateful for any help. Thank you.

Anna – Woodland, WA

A At least one study offers evidence that memantine (an NMDA antagonist) may be beneficial for Parkinson’s disease.1 The results suggest that memantine may improve Parkinsonian symptoms independently of dopaminergic drugs. Selegiline (also called deprenyl) has been found to be helpful for Parkinson’s disease,2 but, alas, it is no longer sold as a supplement in this country. Try Mexico for the product—it’s called Cyprenil®.

Also, there is some indication that galantamine may be useful for Parkinson’s, but there is nothing definitive as yet.3 Finally, Coenzyme Q10 has been shown to be helpful (see “Coenzyme Q10 Slows Parkinson’s Disease” in the January 2003 issue).


  1. Merello M, Nouzeilles MI, Cammarota A, Leiguarda R. Effect of memantine (NMDA antagonist) on Parkinson’s disease: a double-blind crossover randomized study. Clin Neuropharmacol 1999 Sep-Oct;22(5):273-6.
  2. Djaldetti R, Ziv I, Melamed E. The effect of deprenyl washout in patients with long-standing Parkinson’s disease. J Neural Transm 2002 May;109(5-6): 797-803.
  3. Aarsland D. Galantamine for Parkinson’s disease with dementia. Poster session, The International Psychogeriatric Association, Eleventh International Congress, Chicago, August 19, 2003.

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