Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Blue-green algae tested for treating ALS

21.12.2010
Ancient food source may offer neuroprotection

Nutritional supplementation with Spirulina, a nutrient-rich, blue-green algae, appeared to provide neuroprotective support for dying motor neurons in a mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, University of South Florida neuroscientists have found. Although more research is needed, they suggest that a spirulina-supplemented diet may provide clinical benefits for ALS patients.

A spirulina dietary supplement was shown to delay the onset of motor symptoms and disease progression, reducing inflammatory markers and motor neuron death in a G93A mouse model of ALS. Spirulina, an ancient food source used by the Aztecs, may have a dual antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect on motor neurons, the researchers said.

Their study is published in the current issue of The Open Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Journal (3:36-41).

"ALS is a degenerative motor neuron disease," said the study's lead author, Svitlana Garbuzova-Davis, PhD, DSc, assistant professor in the Department of Neurosurgery and Brain Repair at USF. "Most available treatments relieve symptoms without altering the underlying disease. However, evidence for oxidative stress has been associated with ALS and, in our past studies, we demonstrated potent decreases in markers of oxidative damage and inflammation in aged rats fed diets supplemented with spirulina or spinach. In this initial study, the diet supplement was fed only to pre-symptomatic mice. Further studies showing the diet supplement's effect on the lifespan of symptomatic ALS mice are needed to prove the treatment's effectiveness."

Specifically, when the USF researchers tested compounds found in blueberries and spirulina for effectiveness in animal models of stroke and aging in past experiments, they noted neuroprotective effects of the nutritional supplements.

The current study compared ALS mice receiving a spirulina-supplemented diet over a 10-week period with mice that did not receive the diet supplementation. The spirulina-fed ALS mice showed reduced inflammatory markers and motor neuron degeneration over that period.

"The focus of our future ALS experiments will include motor neuron counts and an examination of lifespan following dietary spirulina supplementation in symptomatic ALS mice," said study co-author Paula C. Bickford, PhD, a professor in the USF Department of Neurosurgery and Brain Repair and a senior research biologist at the James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital in Tampa, Florida.

- USF Health -

USF Health (www.health.usf.edu) is dedicated to creating a model of health care based on understanding the full spectrum of health. It includes the University of South Florida's colleges of medicine, nursing, pharmacy and public health; the schools of biomedical sciences as well physical therapy & rehabilitation sciences; and the USF Physicians Group. With more than $394.1 million in research grants and contracts in FY2009/2010, the University of South Florida is one of the nation's top 63 public research universities and one of only 25 public research universities nationwide with very high research activity that is designated as community-engaged by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

Randolph Fillmore | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.health.usf.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht How brains surrender to sleep
23.06.2017 | IMP - Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pathologie GmbH

nachricht A new technique isolates neuronal activity during memory consolidation
22.06.2017 | Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>