Navigation Links
New therapy for fragile X chromosome syndrome discovered

This press release is available in Spanish.

Researchers at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) and the Achucarro neurosciences centre have discovered a new therapy for the fragile X chromosome syndrome. This new therapy proposes the modulation of the cerebral endocannabinoid system in order to ameliorate the symptoms of the disease. "Clearly, a cure as such is not going to be achieved, as it involves a disease of genetic origin, but the fact that, by manipulating in a certain way at a cerebral level in order to obtain an improvement in the symptoms of the disease is something highly positive", stated Ms Susana Mato, researcher at the Department of Neurosciences at the UPV/EHU and at the Achucarro centre. This scientific finding has just been published in Nature Medicine.

Fragile X chromosome syndrome (FXS) is the most frequent known cause of inherited mental retardation and disorders in the autistic range. It involves a genetic disease, with an incidence in Spain estimated at 1 in every 4,000 individuals. The syndrome arises from a deficit in the expression of the FMRP protein (fragile X mental retardation protein), which plays a fundamental role in the regulation of the neuronal function. Patients with FXS present mental retardation, attention deficit, anxiety, self-harming and autistic behaviour, hyposensitivity to pain and a high rate of epileptic crises. All these anomalous neuronal expressions are regulated by the endocannabinoid system.

The research, using genetically modified mice that lacked FMRP protein and that partially reproduced the symptomatology of fragile X chromosome syndrome in humans, have shown that blocking CB1 cannabinoid receptors with the Rimonabant pharmaceutical drug normalizes cognitive alterations, sensitivity to pain and epileptic crises. This finding suggests that the administration of pharmaceutical drugs that block the function of the cerebral endocannabinoid system may well be a new strategy for treating patients with fragile X chromosome syndrome.

Rimonabant pharmaceutical drug has been on the market for some time "for the treatment of obesity", explained Ms Mato. "Then, however, it was used in much higher doses and these high dosages gave rise to certain psychiatric problems, and this is why it was taken off the market". Nonetheless, it involves a drug which "has been used a lot in preclinical research into the endocannabinoid system, and its action mechanism is very well established".

The next step, Ms Mato pointed out, should be "to better characterise the action mechanism of this treatment, and test the various dosages to see what would be the optimum one to normalize the deficit. And the following stage would be the clinical trials. In fact, we believe this would be relatively feasible, because as it has already been marketed, all that preclinical stage regarding toxicity of the drug for humans has been undertaken, and it is a relatively safe pharmaceutical drug".

Although Ms Mato considers it to be a great advance that it has been shown in animal models that "the cognitive deficit caused by the disease has been normalised to a certain extent", she is aware that it could be that "the clinical trials do not produce such good results, as it is common for this to happen when developing therapies for psychiatric disorders".


Contact: Oihane Lakar Iraizoz
Elhuyar Fundazioa

Related biology news :

1. Ludwig presents advancements in immunotherapy and epigenetics at the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting
2. Ludwig advancements in immunotherapy and epigenetics top scientific program at AACR
3. Research advances therapy to protect against dengue virus
4. St. Jude Childrens Research Hospital announces issuance of US patent for cancer therapy
5. Research supports promise of cell therapy for bowel disease
6. Novel combination therapy shuts down escape route, killing glioblastoma tumor cells
7. Local therapy followed by treatment with EGFR TKI is well tolerated
8. New therapy for heart failure may enhance bodys stem cell response at cardiovascular injury site
9. Cell therapy a little more concrete thanks to VIB research
10. Preclinical study shows potential of new technologies to detect response to cancer therapy earlier
11. Novel coronavirus well-adapted to humans, susceptible to immunotherapy
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/29/2015)... Oct. 29, 2015  The J. Craig Venter Institute ... "DNA Synthesis and Biosecurity: Lessons Learned and Options for ... Health and Human Services guidance for synthetic biology providers ... --> --> Synthetic ... the potential to pose unique biosecurity threats. It now ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... health pioneer, Joseph C. Kvedar , MD, describes ... wellness, and the business opportunities that arise from it ... Healthy Things . Long before health and wellness ... vice president, Connected Health, Partners HealthCare, was creating a ... the hospital or doctor,s office into the day-to-day lives ...
(Date:10/27/2015)... -- In the present market scenario, security is one ... verticals such as banking, healthcare, defense, electronic gadgets, and ... secure & simplified access control and growing rate of ... bank accounts, misuse of users, , and so on. ... and smartphones are expected to provide potential opportunities for ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... , Nov. 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna Zentaris Inc. ... its business and prospects remain fundamentally strong and ... (zoptarelin doxorubicin) recently received DSMB recommendation to continue ... following review of the final interim efficacy and ... Primary Endpoint in men with heavily pretreated castration- ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Jessica Richman and Zachary Apte, ... their initial angel funding process. Now, they are paying it forward to other ... stage investments in the microbiome space. In this, they join other successful ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... SAN DIEGO , Nov. 24, 2015 Halozyme Therapeutics, ... Jaffray Healthcare Conference in New York on ... Dr. Helen Torley , president and CEO, will provide a ... New York at 1:00 p.m. ET/10:00 a.m. ... communication and investor relations, will provide a corporate overview. --> ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna Zentaris Inc. (NASDAQ:  AEZS) (TSX: ... behalf of the Toronto Stock Exchange, confirms that as ... no corporate developments that would cause the recent movements ... --> About Aeterna Zentaris Inc. ... --> Aeterna Zentaris is a specialty biopharmaceutical company ...
Breaking Biology Technology: