Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Drug combination increases life span of mice with ALS

01.04.2003


A new three-drug cocktail used to treat ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, may increase life span and decrease disease progression according to a study conducted at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC). The study, published in today’s issue of Annals of Neurology, is the first to look at this drug combination in a mouse model of ALS. This research was made possible by a partnership led by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), in conjunction with the ALS society of Canada and the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Canada (MDAC).



"Last year, we demonstrated that minocycline, a commonly prescribed antibiotic, on its own reduced disease progression, and delayed death in the ALS mice," says MUHC neuroscientist and senior author, Dr. Jean-Pierre Julien. "Findings from our current study show that a therapeutic approach based on a combination of minocycline with two other drugs is much more effective in delaying the onset of the disease and in increasing the longevity of the ALS mice."

"The results are very impressive," says Dr. Angela Genge, director of the ALS clinic at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital. "The approach that Dr. Kriz and Dr Julien use is uniquely helpful in screening for potentially effective therapies in this cruel, currently incurable disease. Every gain gives us hope for the future."


"These research results give people who suffer from ALS hope, and show how well CIHR is working," said Dr. Rémi Quirion, Scientific Director of the Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction of the CIHR. "I have followed and admired Dr. Julien’s work for many years and it is important that the Government of Canada invest in this kind of research."

"These results provide hope to ALS patients and their families," says Centre Hospitalier de l’Universite de Montreal (CHUM) ALS clinician Dr. Monique D’Amour. "Because there is little effective treatment for ALS, new drug strategies are necessary. We will have to see if this will work in patients."

A steadily progressive and fatal neuromuscular disease, ALS erodes a person’s nervous system, eventually leading to paralysis and the inability to speak or swallow. People with ALS usually die within three to five years of diagnosis. Little is known about the cause of ALS and there is no cure. It is a disease of national importance, affecting between 1,500 and 2,000 people in Canada. Two to three Canadians a day die of ALS.

The discovery reported in this paper by Dr. Jasna Kriz, Ms. Geneviève Gowing and Dr. Julien is funded by a unique partnership between the ALS Society of Canada and the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Canada (MDAC). This partnership, in collaboration with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), has funded over $9 million of neuromuscular research since 2000.

"This is very exciting news for the ALS community," says Helene Vassos, interim National Executive Director for the ALS Society of Canada. "We are pleased that research, funded by our collaborative initiative with the MDAC and CIHR continues to result in important discoveries."

Dr. Julien, who is also a professor of Neurosciences at McGill University says that Dr. Kriz looked at the effect of combining three different drugs on the disease progression of ALS mice. The three drugs administered include minocyline- an antibiotic with anti-inflammatory properties, riluzole – the traditional ALS drug, and nimodipine – a drug that blocks calcium channels and normally used to treat brain hemorrhage and for prevention of migraine headache. Dr. Kriz compared the life span, muscle strength, nerve cell loss, and inflammatory response in ALS-mice who were fed a regular diet with those given food containing the three-drug cocktail. The mice fed the drug cocktail lived substantially longer, had a delayed onset of neuronal and muscle deterioration. "Our findings demonstrate the merit of a drug combination approach for treatment of a disease with complex degeneration pathways. The three drugs are currently available and we hope that our study will justify a trial on ALS patients," says Dr. Julien.

Christine Zeindler | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.mcgill.ca/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Fast-tracking T cell therapies with immune-mimicking biomaterials
16.01.2018 | Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard

nachricht Dengue takes low and slow approach to replication
12.01.2018 | Duke University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

Im Focus: A thermometer for the oceans

Measurement of noble gases in Antarctic ice cores

The oceans are the largest global heat reservoir. As a result of man-made global warming, the temperature in the global climate system increases; around 90% of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Novel 3-D printing technique yields high-performance composites

16.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

New application for acoustics helps estimate marine life populations

16.01.2018 | Life Sciences

Fast-tracking T cell therapies with immune-mimicking biomaterials

16.01.2018 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>