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Drug-like compound stops thyroid overstimulation in early NIH studies
Date:12/1/2010

author on the paper.

Graves' disease is an autoimmune disorder, causing the body's immune system to act against the body's own cells and organs. Graves' disease typically first occurs in people under 40 and affects approximately 1 percent of the U.S. population, with women five to 10 times more likely than men to have Graves' disease.

The newly discovered compound, which is a receptor antagonist, may have the added benefit of helping those with eye problems caused by Graves' disease called Graves' ophthalmopathy experienced by more than 25 percent of people with the disease. Eye problems may include painful swelling in the eye sockets, double vision, tears or itchy eyes, and protruding eyes with swollen eyelids that can't be easily shut, increasing the risk for eye diseases. Because the swelling in the eyes is thought to be associated with the same overstimulation of receptors caused by the same thyroid-stimulating antibodies as in the thyroid, the potential thyroid treatment may have the added benefit of treating the eye problems as well.

The Gershengorn team is also at work on the flip side of thyroid regulation. By researching the thyroid-stimulating hormone receptor, they're hoping to use drug-like compounds to stimulate this receptor to treat people with thyroid cancer, who need more stimulation of thyroid cancer cells to increase the efficacy of iodine radiation. They've tested their discovery in mice and hope to perform pre-clinical studies and to develop human trials in the foreseeable future.


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Contact: Amy F. Reiter
niddkmedia@mail.nih.gov
301-496-3583
NIH/National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
Source:Eurekalert

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