Study Examines Association Between Urate, Gout, and the Risk for Parkinson’s Disease

A meta-analysis published in npj Parkinson’s Disease found that urate may exert protective effects against the development of Parkinson’s Disease (PD); however, gout did not have a significant correlation with a lower risk of PD.

PD has become one of the most common types of neurodegenerative disease. At present, there is no effective cure for PD, so it is particularly important to investigate the pathological process of PD in order to prevent its onset and progression. Prior studies have shown that oxidative stress plays a crucial role in the pathology of PD.

Gout is a metabolic disorder characterized by joint pain. Gout is a result of elevated urate levels in the blood that crystalize and deposit in between joints. Urate, a metabolite of purine and natural antioxidant, can reduce oxidative stress by removing reactive nitrogen and oxygen radicals in vivo and in vitro.

“Prompted by the conflicting results reported in the literature, a comprehensive meta-analysis of cohort studies was performed to explore the correlation between urate or gout and the risk for PD in both sexes. In addition, a dose-response meta-analysis was also performed to clarify the dose correlation between urate and the risk for PD,” the researchers of the study wrote.

To investigate the relationship between the risk of PD and urate levels or gout, researchers utilized the Embase, PubMed, and Medline databases. Random-effects and fixed-effects models were used to obtain pooled relative risks (RRs) and corresponding CIs. Fifteen studies representing 449,816 participants and 14,687 cases were identified for analysis.

High serum urate levels were associated with a decreased risk for PD (RR = 0.44). In a subgroup analysis, sex was found to be a neuroprotective effect of high urate levels against PD in females (RR = 0.68) more than in males (RR = 0.49). In addition, the risk for PD was lowered by 6% for each 1 mg/dL increase in serum urate level and reduced by 13% with each 2 mg/dL increase in serum urate level.

“The neuroprotective effect of high urate levels for PD has potentially important implications for prevention,” the researchers remarked. They go on to conclude that “our results indicated that urate may exert protective effects against the development of PD. And gout did not have a significant correlation with a lower risk of PD.”