A $6 billion industry is about to get a serious run for its money – and it's about time, too.

There's nothing worse than a Big Pharma med that takes advantage of a captive audience – like the drugs many Parkinson's patients take that really only offer one kind of relief: they relieve the patients of their money.

But a major new study just getting under way will look at whether coenzyme Q10 can do what even those drugs can't – and slow the progression of this degenerative disease.

This over-the-counter substance is cheap, readily available, and already showing some great promise. It's also been linked to everything from heart health and immune system function to easing migraine headaches.

And while it's great that they're finally ready to take a closer look at this one, there's every reason to believe it will deliver on the promise of Parkinson's relief. Previous research has found that it protects the areas of the brain ravaged by this disease – and that Parkinson's patients have low levels of it.

One study in 2002 found that patients who took 1,200 mg each day had 44 percent less decline in cognitive and motor function, and were much better able to carry out daily tasks than those who took smaller doses (or none at all).

The best part of all is that, despite its science-fiction name, coenzyme Q10 is a completely natural substance that already exists in your body. Even when it causes side effects, they're nowhere near as bad as those of many Parkinson's drugs, which can include psychosis, hallucinations, and delusions.

So when this new study confirms what we already know – and I have no reason to think it won't – all those pricey Parkinson's drugs will seem like a bad hallucination.

I'll be keeping tabs on this new study for you – and I'll let you know if it reveals anything new or unexpected. But in the meantime, if you or someone you love is suffering from Parkison's, work with your doctor on adding coenzyme Q10 to the daily routine.