Navigation Links
Plant extract offers hope for infant motor neuron therapy
Date:3/4/2014

A chemical found in plants could reduce the symptoms of a rare muscle disease that leaves children with little or no control of their movements.

Scientists have found that a plant pigment called quercetin found in some fruits, vegetables, herbs and grains could help to prevent the damage to nerves associated with the childhood form of motor neuron disease.

Their findings could pave the way for new treatments for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) also known as floppy baby syndrome which is a leading genetic cause of death in children.

The team has found that the build-up of a specific molecule inside cells called beta-catenin is responsible for some of the symptoms associated with the condition.

In tests on zebrafish, flies and mice, scientists found that treating the disease with purified quercetin which targets beta-catenin led to a significant improvement in the health of nerve and muscle cells.

Quercetin did not prevent all of the symptoms associated with the disorder but researchers hope that it could offer a useful treatment option in the early stages of disease.

They now hope to create better versions of the chemical that are more effective than naturally-occurring quercetin.

SMA is caused by a mutation in a gene that is vital for the survival of nerve cells that connect the brain and spinal cord to the muscles, known as motor neurons. Until now, it was not known how the mutation damages these cells and causes disease.

The study reveals that the mutated gene affects a key housekeeping process that is required for removing unwanted molecules from cells in the body. When this process doesn't work properly, molecules can build-up and cause problems inside the cells.

Children with SMA experience progressive muscle wastage and loss of mobility and control of their movements. The disorder is often referred to as 'floppy baby syndrome' because of the weakness that it creates.

It affects one in 6000 babies and around half of children with the most severe form will die before the age of two.

The study is published today in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Professor Tom Gillingwater from the University of Edinburgh, who led the study, said: "This is an important step that could one day improve quality of life for the babies affected by this condition and their families. There is currently no cure for this kind of neuromuscular disorder so new treatments that can tackle the progression of disease are urgently needed."


'/>"/>

Contact: Jen Middleton
jen.middleton@ed.ac.uk
44-131-650-6514
University of Edinburgh
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Are plants more intelligent than we assumed?
2. Plants convert energy at lightning speed
3. Unearthing key function of plant hormone
4. Researchers trap moths with plant-produced sex pheromone
5. Tiger lily heights controlled with flurprimidol preplant bulb soaks
6. Roots to shoots: Hormone transport in plants deciphered
7. Neighbor-plants determine insects feeding choices
8. Neimark Award winners study statistics, chemistry, plant sciences, astrophysics and linguistics
9. Revolutionary new view on heritability in plants
10. Design prototype chip makes possible a fully implantable cochlear implant
11. Cochlear implants -- with no exterior hardware
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:11/30/2016)... 2016  higi SH llc (higi) announced today ... national brands, industry thought-leaders and celebrity influencers looking ... for taking steps to live healthier, more active ... higi has built the largest self-screening health station ... people who have conducted over 185 million biometric ...
(Date:11/24/2016)... , Nov. 23, 2016 Cercacor today introduced ... and their trainers non-invasively measure hemoglobin, Oxygen ... Rate, and Respiration Rate in approximately 30 seconds. Smaller ... easy and immediate access to key data about their ... a training regimen. Hemoglobin carries oxygen ...
(Date:11/17/2016)... Global Market Watch: Primarily supported by ownership types; ... Academics) market is to witness a value of US$37.1 billion ... Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 10.75% is foreseen from ... 2014-2020. North America is not way ... Europe at 9.56% respectively. Report Focus: ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/9/2016)... 2016 China Cord Blood Corporation (NYSE: ... leading provider of cord blood collection, laboratory testing, hematopoietic ... the results of its 2016 Annual General Meeting, which was ... China . At the Annual ... of KPMG Huazhen LLP as the independent auditors of the ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... Lajollacooks4u, San Diego’s premier team building ... team building events, new program offerings and company expansion. , This is ... to include groups of over 30 people. Ever since, Lajollacooks4u has seen significant demand ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... , Dec. 8, 2016  Renova™ Therapeutics, ... congestive heart failure and type 2 diabetes, announced ... a novel adeno-associated virus (AAV) vector developed in ... M.D., Ph.D., at Stanford University. The company plans ... paracrine gene therapy product pipeline. ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... OXFORD, England , December 8, 2016 ... Company, has expanded its customisable SureSeq™ NGS panel range with ... - allowing fast and cost-effective study of variants in familial ... copy number variation (CNV) detection on a single small panel ... and hotspot content. This includes all exons for LDLR ...
Breaking Biology Technology: