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Therapy slows onset and progression of Lou Gehrig's disease, study finds
Date:9/9/2013

at is to deliver the drug directly into the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), which would reduce the amount of SOD1 suppression in cells outside the brain and reduce immune system exposure to AAV9elements that would add weight to an argument for studying the drug in humans.

Injections directly into CSF cannot be done easily in mice, so the team took the study a crucial step further by injecting AAV9-SOD1-shRNA into the CSF of healthy nonhuman primates. The results were just as the team hopedthe amount of gene expression dropped by as much as 90 percent in motor neurons and nearly 70 percent in astrocytes and no side effects were reported, laying the groundwork towards moving to human clinical trials.

"We have a vast amount of work to do to move this toward a clinical trial, but we're encouraged by the results to date and our team at Nationwide Children's and our outstanding collaborators are fully committed to making a difference in this disease," Dr. Kaspar said.

The findings could impact other studies underway in Dr. Kaspar's lab, including research on Spinal Muscular Atrophy, an often fatal genetic disease in infants and children that can cause profoundly weakened muscles in the arms and legs and respiratory failure.

"This research provides further proof of targeting motor neurons and glial cells throughout the entire spinal cord for treatment of Spinal Muscular Atrophy and other degenerative diseases of the brain and spinal cord, through a less invasive manner than direct injections," said Dr. Kaspar, who also is an associate professor of pediatrics and neurosciences at The Ohio State University College of Medicine.


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Contact: Gina Bericchia
Gina.Bericchia@NationwideChildrens.org
614-355-0495
Nationwide Children's Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

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