Randomized, double-blind, pilot evaluation of intravenous glutathione in Parkinson’s disease

The objective of this study was to evaluate the safety, tolerability, and preliminary efficacy of intravenous glutathione in Parkinson's disease (PD) patients. This was a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, pilot trial in subjects with PD whose motor symptoms were not adequately controlled with their current medication regimen. Subjects were randomly assigned to receive intravenous glutathione 1,400 mg or placebo administered three times a week for 4 weeks. Twenty-one subjects were randomly assigned, 11 to glutathione and 10 to placebo. One subject who was assigned to glutathione withdrew from the study for personal reasons prior to undergoing any postrandomization efficacy assessments. Glutathione was well tolerated and there were no withdrawals because of adverse events in either group. Reported adverse events were similar in the two groups. There were no significant differences in changes in Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) scores. Over the 4 weeks of study medication administration, UPDRS ADL + motor scores improved by a mean of 2.8 units more in the glutathione group (P = 0.32), and over the subsequent 8 weeks worsened by a mean of 3.5 units more in the glutathione group (P = 0.54). Glutathione was well tolerated and no safety concerns were identified. Preliminary efficacy data suggest the possibility of a mild symptomatic effect, but this remains to be evaluated in a larger study.