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!
Improving memory with magnets
28.03.2017 | McGill University
Graphene-based neural probes probe brain activity in high resolution
28.03.2017 | Graphene Flagship
The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.
To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
28.03.2017 | Life Sciences
28.03.2017 | Information Technology
28.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy