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 Cholesterol-lowering drugs may fight infectious disease
22.08.2017 | Duke University

nachricht Once invincible superbug squashed by 'superteam' of antibiotics
22.08.2017 | University at Buffalo

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: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

What the world's tiniest 'monster truck' reveals

23.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Treating arthritis with algae

23.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Witnessing turbulent motion in the atmosphere of a distant star

23.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>