Living With Polio

Role of Oral Glutathione (2013)

PHI awarded $25,000 each to two research groups in 2011. This is the report from the University of Michigan.

Claire Z. Kalpakjian, PhD, MS, University of Michigan, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant and plays an important role in a number of cellular processes and the maintenance of cellular homeostasis associated with health and longevity. The goal of this pilot study was to examine the effectiveness of oral glutathione for improving health outcomes in persons with the late effects of poliomyelitis.

A total of 20 individuals who were between the ages of 50 and 65 with clinically identified post-poliomyelitis late effects and who were able to ambulate at least 100 feet, with or without assistive devices, enrolled in this study. The intervention was a three-month trial of twice-daily, oral, 1,000-mg glutathione supplements. This study involved four assessment periods across the three-month study period (two clinic visits, two home-based assessments).

READ ARTICLE …Post-Polio Health, Volume 29, Number 4, Fall 2013

Explanation of the research
Oral Glutathione and Health Outcomes Among Persons With Post-Polio Syndrome is the official name of a study being done at the University of Michigan under the direction of Principal Investigator Claire Z. Kalpakjian, MS, PhD.

The project was designed to take two years. The team is currently recruiting participants (2012).

“Subjects will take a glutathione supplement by mouth for three months after an initial medical visit, blood draw and physical exam. There are four points during the three months when subjects will fill out surveys and record food intake and sleep times in diaries for seven days. They will also wear a small device, a SenseWear® monitor, for seven days that records physical activity, body temperature and other measures.

“After the fourth point during the three-month study period, they will return to The SenseWear® monitor the medical center for another physical exam and blood draw. Physicians trained in physical medicine and rehabilitation will be monitoring the study.”

Dr. Kalpakjian said, “The SenseWear® device is an innovative technology that allows us to track a person’s sleep patterns, physical activity and even the calories they burn each day. Each research subject fills out diaries to report their sleep, diet and moods. An objective method such as a device and a subjective one like a diary complement each other. As a result we have a more genuine picture of a person’s sleep and activity. This study, although small and preliminary, will make an important contribution to research on post-polio syndrome.”

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