The drug, oral EN101antisense, inhibits the production of acetylcholine esterase, which is an important enzyme in the function of the neuromuscular junction, where nerves connect with muscles. Antisense is a synthetic, short segment of DNA that locks onto a strand of mRNA and blocks production of specific proteins.
“This is the first time we’ve been able to show that antisense is effective and safe when taken orally for a neurological disease,” said study author Zohar Argov, MD, with Hadassah Hebrew University Medical Center in Jerusalem and member of the American Academy of Neurology. “Oral delivery of antisense has long been sought after since it is expected to improve patient compliance because daily injections won’t be needed.”
People with myasthenia gravis have increased fatigue and reduced strength in their voluntary muscles. Symptoms may also include a drooping eyelid, double vision, difficulty in swallowing, or slurred speech. Myasthenia gravis is believed to affect 20 out of every 100,000 people.
For the study, 16 people with myasthenia gravis were given daily doses of oral EN101 antisense for four days and monitored for one month. Four of the people later took the drug for a month. The study found that oral antisense reduced disease severity by an average of 46 percent, with patients experiencing improved muscle function, improved swallowing time and the disappearance of a drooping eyelid. Side effects reported during the study were dryness of eyes and mouth.
Experts say this discovery may have implications beyond myasthenia gravis. “Oral antisense may become another mode of therapy in neuromuscular disease and further study is needed,” said Argov. “However, these preliminary results should be evaluated with caution since this was an open label study.”
Argov says further research is underway to look at the effects of this drug over a longer period of time.
Angela Babb | EurekAlert!
Biofilm discovery suggests new way to prevent dangerous infections
23.05.2017 | University of Texas at Austin
Another reason to exercise: Burning bone fat -- a key to better bone health
19.05.2017 | University of North Carolina Health Care
Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
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Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...
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23.05.2017 | Event News
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26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy