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 'Living bandages': NUST MISIS scientists develop biocompatible anti-burn nanofibers
16.02.2018 | National University of Science and Technology MISIS

nachricht New process allows tailor-made malaria research
16.02.2018 | Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

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: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

Im Focus: Autonomous 3D scanner supports individual manufacturing processes

Let’s say the armrest is broken in your vintage car. As things stand, you would need a lot of luck and persistence to find the right spare part. But in the world of Industrie 4.0 and production with batch sizes of one, you can simply scan the armrest and print it out. This is made possible by the first ever 3D scanner capable of working autonomously and in real time. The autonomous scanning system will be on display at the Hannover Messe Preview on February 6 and at the Hannover Messe proper from April 23 to 27, 2018 (Hall 6, Booth A30).

Part of the charm of vintage cars is that they stopped making them long ago, so it is special when you do see one out on the roads. If something breaks or...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Fingerprints of quantum entanglement

16.02.2018 | Information Technology

'Living bandages': NUST MISIS scientists develop biocompatible anti-burn nanofibers

16.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Hubble sees Neptune's mysterious shrinking storm

16.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>