Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Antibiotic provides promise in treatment of spinal cord injuries

25.02.2004


Treatment prevents later-stage tissue loss contributing to long-term injury



Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and Children’s Hospital Boston (CHB) have found that a commonly prescribed antibiotic could be used to help prevent paralysis and other long-term functional deficits associated with a partial spinal cord injury (SCI). Researchers in the field have known that a significant proportion of paralysis and long-term functional disorders associated with SCI are triggered by post-trauma tissue loss. Administering the antibiotic, minocycline, to rats within the first hour after a paralyzing injury has been shown to reduce this tissue loss and ultimately enable more hind-leg function, the ability to walk with more coordination, better foot posture and stepping, and better support of body weight than untreated controls. The findings are published in the March 2, 2004 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The BWH/CHB researchers found that minocycline reduces later-stage tissue loss by blocking release of a protein known as mitochondrial cytochrome c. Yang D. Teng, MD, PhD, of the joint BWH/CHB neurosurgery program and co-lead author of the study, notes that other experimental agents can prevent later-stage tissue loss, but must be given immediately after or even before SCI to be effective. "The field has badly needed to develop a drug that could be used in a practical manner," said Teng.


According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Association, approximately 250,000 to 400,000 individuals in the United States currently have spinal cord injuries with more than 11,000 individuals each year impacted by a spinal cord injury. Ninety percent of these injuries are partial – meaning that the spinal cord is damaged but not severed, as in the current study.

"These research results are exciting in that they demonstrate a novel post-trauma strategy in the form of a safe, FDA-approved drug that could serve as a prototype drug for developing better therapeutic strategies to improve quality of life for people suffering from spinal cord injuries," said Teng, also an assistant professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School (HMS).

The steroid methylprednisolone is currently used for SCI in clinical practice, but is falling into disfavor because of severe side effects. Minocycline, a well-known neuroprotector that is currently being tested to treat stroke, ALS, Huntington’s disease and head trauma, has no observable side effects in the rat model and can be given for up to an hour after SCI, providing a more realistic timeframe for clinical use.

"We believe that if minocycline is demonstrated effective in clinical trials of SCI, it will likely be part of a comprehensive cocktail of medications targeting the acute and chronic injuries of this devastating disease," said Robert M. Friedlander, MD of BWH, HMS associate professor of Neurosurgery and co-lead author of the study. "Because minocycline has already been proven as an effective neuroprotector and is capable of penetrating the blood-brain barrier, we believe that it may become the next-generation therapy for treating SCI."

Also collaborating in this study was the VA Boston Healthcare System, where Teng is director of spinal cord injury research.


###
BWH is a 725-bed nonprofit teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School and a founding member of Partners HealthCare System, an integrated health care delivery network. Internationally recognized as a leading academic health care institution, BWH is committed to excellence in patient care, medical research, and the training and education of health care professionals. The hospital’s preeminence in all aspects of clinical care is coupled with its strength in medical research. A leading recipient of research grants from the National Institutes of Health, BWH conducts internationally acclaimed clinical, basic and epidemiological studies.

Children’s Hospital Boston is home to the world’s largest research enterprise based at a pediatric medical center, where its discoveries have benefited both children and adults for more than 130 years. More than 500 scientists, including seven members of the National Academy of Sciences, nine members of the Institute of Medicine and nine members of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute comprise Children’s research community. Children’s is the primary pediatric teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School. For more information about the hospital visit: www.childrenshospital.org

Susan Craig | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.childrenshospital.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Microgel powder fights infection and helps wounds heal
14.11.2018 | Michigan Technological University

nachricht Spread of deadly eye cancer halted in cells and animals
13.11.2018 | Johns Hopkins Medicine

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: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

Im Focus: Coping with errors in the quantum age

Physicists at ETH Zurich demonstrate how errors that occur during the manipulation of quantum system can be monitored and corrected on the fly

The field of quantum computation has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Bit by bit, quantum devices start to challenge conventional computers, at least...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Massive impact crater from a kilometer-wide iron meteorite discovered in Greenland

15.11.2018 | Earth Sciences

When electric fields make spins swirl

15.11.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Discovery of a cool super-Earth

15.11.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>