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:5/23/2017)... GENOA, Italy , May 23, 2017  Hunova, the first robotic ... and trunk, has been officially launched in Genoa, Italy ... Europe and the USA . The ... launched on the market by the IIT spin-off Movendo Technology thanks to ... view the Multimedia News Release, please click: ...
(Date:4/24/2017)... , April 24, 2017 ... and partner with  Identity Strategy Partners, LLP (IdSP) ... "With or without President Trump,s March 6, 2017 ... Terrorist Entry , refugee vetting can be instilled with ... resettlement. (Right now, all refugee applications are suspended ...
(Date:4/13/2017)... , April 13, 2017 UBM,s Advanced ... will feature emerging and evolving technology through ... Innovation Summits will run alongside the expo portion of ... sessions, panels and demonstrations focused on trending topics within ... advanced design and manufacturing event will take place June ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/22/2017)... ... June 22, 2017 , ... RURO, Inc., a leading ... 6.5, a content-packed update to the Limfinity® framework. , LimitLIS® and other RURO ... diverse base of customers among labs and other businesses. Limfinity® 6.5 adds new ...
(Date:6/20/2017)... Pa. , June 20, 2017  Kibow Biotech ... pleased to announce the issuance of a new patent ... or hyperuricemia by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office ... a winner of the Buzz of Bio award in ... is akin to developing non-drug approaches to chronic disease. ...
(Date:6/19/2017)... ... June 19, 2017 , ... ... clinical development reported today that it is launching two new additions of its ... be demonstrating new capabilities at the DIA 2017 Annual Meeting in Chicago, IL, ...
(Date:6/16/2017)... ... June 16, 2017 , ... CTNext , Connecticut’s go-to resource ... held at The LOFT at Chelsea Piers in Stamford. , Nine finalists, all of ... of judges for an opportunity to secure $10,000 awards to help support business growth. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: