Effects of Chocolate on Motor Symptoms of Parkinson's Disease
Chocolate consumption has long been associated with enjoyment and pleasure. Popular claims confer on chocolate the properties of being a stimulant, relaxant, euphoriant and antidepressant. These possible pharmacological actions might be related to various biogenic amines, such as serotonin, dopamine, tyramine, histamine, phenylethylamine and cannabinoid-like substances. Most amines are metabolized by monoamineoxidase-A (MAO-A) and are therefore unable to pass the blood-brain-barrier. In contrast, phenylethylamine is a direct dopamine releasing ingredient and as a substrate of MAO-B and due to its lipophilic structure even capable to pass the blood-brain-barrier. Within this line, own clinical observations suggested an increased chocolate consumption in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) compared to healthy subjects and to their pre-disease state.
In a previous study, we assessed the consumption of chocolate and non-chocolate sweets in PD patients and their partners (as household controls) using a self-questionnaire. Consumption of chocolate was significantly higher in PD patients compared to controls, while consumption of non-chocolate sweets was similar in both groups. Our study suggests that chocolate consumption is increased in PD independent of concomitant depressive symptoms measured by BDI-1. Although reasons for increased chocolate consumption in PD remain elusive, it may hypothetically be a consequence of the high content of various biogenic amines as a content of cocoa influencing dopamine metabolism.
Therefore, in the present study we aim to study the effects of dark chocolate with high cocoa content (85%) compared to chocolate without any cocoa (white chocolate) on motor symptoms in PD patients as measured with UPDRS part III (motor score). The principle design of the intervention is similar to the standard pharmacological challenge test for studying effects on motor symptoms in PD (e.g. levodopa challenge test).
Allocation: Randomized, Control: Active Control, Endpoint Classification: Safety/Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Crossover Assignment, Masking: Single Blind (Investigator), Primary Purpose: Treatment
Dresden University of Technology, Medical Faculty
Dresden University of Technology
Results (where available)
- Source: http://clinicaltrials.gov/show/NCT00906763
- Information obtained from ClinicalTrials.gov on July 15, 2010
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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions
A condition caused by the neurotoxin MPTP which causes selective destruction of nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons. Clinical features include irreversible parkinsonian signs including rigidity and bradykinesia (PARKINSON DISEASE, SECONDARY). MPTP toxicity is also used as an animal model for the study of PARKINSON DISEASE. (Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p1072; Neurology 1986 Feb;36(2):250-8)
A group of disorders which feature impaired motor control characterized by bradykinesia, MUSCLE RIGIDITY; TREMOR; and postural instability. Parkinsonian diseases are generally divided into primary parkinsonism (see PARKINSON DISEASE), secondary parkinsonism (see PARKINSON DISEASE, SECONDARY) and inherited forms. These conditions are associated with dysfunction of dopaminergic or closely related motor integration neuronal pathways in the BASAL GANGLIA.
Parkinsonism following encephalitis, historically seen as a sequella of encephalitis lethargica (Von Economo Encephalitis). The early age of onset, the rapid progression of symptoms followed by stabilization, and the presence of a variety of other neurological disorders (e.g., sociopathic behavior; TICS; MUSCLE SPASMS; oculogyric crises; hyperphagia; and bizarre movements) distinguish this condition from primary PARKINSON DISEASE. Pathologic features include neuronal loss and gliosis concentrated in the MESENCEPHALON; SUBTHALAMUS; and HYPOTHALAMUS. (From Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p754)
Conditions which feature clinical manifestations resembling primary Parkinson disease that are caused by a known or suspected condition. Examples include parkinsonism caused by vascular injury, drugs, trauma, toxin exposure, neoplasms, infections and degenerative or hereditary conditions. Clinical features may include bradykinesia, rigidity, parkinsonian gait, and masked facies. In general, tremor is less prominent in secondary parkinsonism than in the primary form. (From Joynt, Clinical Neurology, 1998, Ch38, pp39-42)
Sweet food products combining cane or beet sugars with other carbohydrates and chocolate, milk, eggs, and various flavorings. In the United States, candy refers to both sugar- and cocoa-based confections and is differentiated from sweetened baked goods; elsewhere the terms sugar confectionary, chocolate confectionary, and flour confectionary (meaning goods such as cakes and pastries) are used.