Experimental Stroke Drug, Promise for Lou Gehrig's Disease?
(Ivanhoe Newswire) – In a new study, Neuroscientists at Keck School of Medicine of USC revealed that an experimental drug, now being studied in stroke patients, shows promise for people with Lou Gehrig's disease too.
Lou Gehrig's disease, also called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), attacks motor neurons. The progressive degeneration of motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to paralysis and difficulty breathing, eating, and swallowing. The experimental drug, an activated protein C called 3K3A-APC, appeared to protect the blood-spinal cord barrier's integrity in mice and delayed neuron impairment and degeneration.
“In this study, we show that early motor neuron dysfunction related to the disease in mice is proportional to the degree of damage to the blood-spinal cord barrier and that restoring the integrity of the barrier delays motor neuron degeneration,” study director Berislav V. Zlokovic, M.D., Ph.D., at the Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute at USC, was quoted as saying. “We are hopeful that we can apply these findings to corresponding disease mechanism in people.”
Approximately 15 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with ALS every day, according to the ALS association. It is estimated that 30,000 people live with the disease and most develop the disease between ages 40 and 70.
For more information, go to: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2014/02/26/1401595111.abstract?sid=e3a757f2-e557-4dd9-b021-7f2f5b10ac3a
SOURCE: U.S. National Academy of Sciences, February 2014
Click Here for a free weekly email with Ivanhoe's latest Medical Breakthroughs.