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Antioxidant drug knocks down multiple sclerosis-like disease in mice
Date:12/26/2013

PORTLAND, Ore. Researchers at Oregon Health & Science University have discovered that an antioxidant designed more than a dozen years ago to fight damage within human cells significantly helps symptoms in mice that have a multiple sclerosis-like disease.

The antioxidant called MitoQ has shown some promise in fighting neurodegenerative diseases. But this is the first time it has been shown to significantly reverse an MS-like disease in an animal.

The discovery could lead to an entirely new way to treat multiple sclerosis, which affects more than 2.3 million people worldwide.

Multiple sclerosis occurs when the body's immune system attacks the myelin, or the protective sheath, surrounding nerve fibers of the central nervous system. Some underlying nerve fibers are destroyed. Resulting symptoms can include blurred vision and blindness, loss of balance, slurred speech, tremors, numbness and problems with memory and concentration.

The antioxidant research was published in the December edition of Biochimica et Biophysica Acta Molecular Basis of Disease. The research team was led by P. Hemachandra Reddy, Ph.D., an associate scientist in the Division of Neuroscience at OHSU's Oregon National Primate Research Center.

To conduct their study, the researchers induced mice to contract a disease called experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, or EAE, which is very similar to MS in humans. They separated mice into four groups: a group with EAE only; a group that was given the EAE, then treated with the MitoQ; a third group that was given the MitoQ first, then given the EAE; and a fourth "control" group of mice without EAE and without any other treatment.

After 14 days, the EAE mice that had been treated with the MitoQ exhibited reduced inflammatory markers and increased neuronal activity in the spinal cord an affected brain region in MS that showed their EAE symptoms were being improved by the treatment. The
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Contact: Todd Murphy
murphyt@ohsu.edu
503-494-8231
Oregon Health & Science University
Source:Eurekalert  

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