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Novel compound may treat acute diarrhea
Date:6/16/2008

e ability of several bacterial toxins to elevate intracellular levels of cyclic nucleotides, and inhibits fluid secretion by animal small intestine exposed to these toxins," said Stanley G. Schultz, M.D., professor, associate dean for Institutional Advancement and Fondren Chair in Cellular Signaling at The University of Texas Medical School at Houston.

"These findings are a promising lead into what could prove to be a triumph of translational research of staggering importance," Schultz said. "An inexpensive drug that could block the intestinal secretory pathway, with minimal side effects, would be a "magic bullet" that would not only save millions of lives in many parts of the developing world, but would also save the billions of dollars that are lost annually because of diarrhea throughout the world. It would truly be a treatment of diarrhea rather than a treatment of the consequences of diarrhea." Schultz received the 2006 Prince Mahidol Award for Medicine for pioneering research that led to the development of oral rehydration therapy.

Herbert L. DuPont, M.D., professor of infectious diseases and director of the Center For Infectious Diseases at The University of Texas School of Public Health, said, "The approach being taken here is to decrease fluid loss from the intestine, which is directed to the most important body mechanism leading to acute diarrhea."

"Current antidiarrheal therapy is less physiologic, often working through inhibition of intestinal movement leading to potential complications. A drug that stops the loss of fluid and salt from the intestine could save infant lives in developing regions and alleviate suffering that would otherwise be experienced by travelers to the tropics and subtropics," DuPont said.

Travelers' diarrhea affects millions of people annually.

The promising treatment is the result of a 30-year investigation by Murad and long-time colleague Richard L. Guerrant, M.D., director of the C
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Contact: Robert Cahill
Robert.Cahill@uth.tmc.edu
713-500-3030
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
Source:Eurekalert

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