Navigation Links
Promising new approach to treating debilitating nervous system disease
Date:10/16/2011

MAYWOOD, Il. -- A groundbreaking study in the journal Nature Medicine suggests what could become the first effective treatment for a debilitating and fatal disease of the central nervous system called SCA1.

The study, based on an animal model, found that the disease is linked to low levels of a multipurpose protein called VEGF. Researchers found that in mice that had SCA1, replenishing this protein lead to significant improvements in muscle coordination and balance.

Ameet R. Kini, MD, PhD, an associate professor in the Department of Pathology and Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center of Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, is a co-author of the study.

SCA1 (spinocerebellar ataxia type 1) is an inherited disease caused by a mutation of a single gene. The disease affects 1 to 2 people per 100,000 of population. The first symptoms are usually lack of muscular control of the hands and trouble with balance while walking. Later symptoms can include difficulty swallowing, indistinct speech, neuropathy, spasticity, weakness and memory problems. The disease generally proves fatal within 10 to 30 years, and there currently is no effective treatment, according to the National Ataxia Foundation.

In the first part of their study, researchers conducted several tests that demonstrated that mice with SCA1 had low levels of VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor). In the brain, VEGF stimulates the growth of blood vessels and works in other ways to keep brain cells healthy.

Researchers then tested whether boosting VEGF levels would benefit mice that had SCA1. They boosted VEGF two ways: By genetically engineering mice to produce more of the protein and by delivering VEGF directly to the brain.

Mice that had SCA1 were given a performance test called Rotarod, which measures balance and coordination. The test, which is somewhat like a log-rolling competition, measures how long a mouse can stay atop a rolling cylinder.

Researchers compared diseased mice that had been treated with VEGF to diseased mice that received no treatment. The VEGF group performed significantly better than the untreated mice -- and in some cases nearly as well as healthy mice that did not have SCA1. In addition, microscopic examinations found significant improvements in the brains of diseased mice that had been treated with VEGF.

The findings suggest that reversing low VEGF levels "may be a potentially useful treatment in patients with SCA1," researchers wrote.

The results also could prove relevant to other ataxia disorders "and possibly even other neurodegenerative syndromes," researchers wrote.

However, Kini cautioned that while the study findings are promising, they do not necessarily apply to humans. It would require clinical trials in patients to prove that replenishing VEGF levels is a safe and effective treatment, Kini said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jim Ritter
jritter@lumc.edu
708-216-2445
Loyola University Health System
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. UH Case Medical Center researchers publish promising findings for advanced cervical cancer
2. First blinded study of venous insufficiency prevalence in MS shows promising results
3. Promising therapy for relapsing multibple sclerosis
4. New strategy produces promising advance in cancer vaccines
5. Sytropin HGH Shows Promising Anti-Aging Results
6. Lacosamide validated as promising therapy for uncontrolled partial-onset seizures
7. New smoking cessation therapy proves promising
8. SBRT eliminates tumors with promising survival for early-stage inoperable lung cancer patients
9. Promising strategy for treatment of lung cancer
10. McMaster researcher leads development of promising drug for inflammation
11. Promising hormone may help reduce malnutrition in gastric cancer patients
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/26/2016)... Creek, Michigan (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 , ... ... joined as sponsor of the 2016 Cereal Festival and World’s Longest Breakfast Table in ... in honor of the city’s history as home to some of the world’s leading ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... Carolina (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 , ... ... of a new product that was developed to enhance the health of felines. The ... centuries. , The two main herbs in the PawPaws Cat Kidney Support ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... , ... June 26, 2016 , ... ... once they have been diagnosed with endometriosis. These women need a treatment plan ... require a comprehensive approach that can help for preservation of fertility and ultimately ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... TX (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... Austin ... of the American College of Mohs Surgery and to Dr. Russell Peckham for medical ... and highly effective treatment for skin cancer. The selective fellowship in Mohs Micrographic Surgery ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... "With 30 hand-drawn hand gesture animations, FCPX ... Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ProHand Cartoon’s package transforms over ... Cut Pro X . Simply select a ProHand generator and drag it above media ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/26/2016)... OTTAWA, Ontario , June 27, 2016  VMS ... the Company,s Board will take whatever measures required to ... the Company,s stock which is currently listed on the ... S Wexler, Company Chairman and CEO, "We are seeing ... be difficult to understand, not only by the Company, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... June 24, 2016  Collagen Matrix, Inc., ("Collagen ... and manufacturing of collagen and mineral based medical ... that Bill Messer has joined the ... further leverage the growing portfolio of oral surgery, ... Bill joins the Collagen Matrix executive team ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... DUBLIN , June 24, 2016 ... and Markets has announced the addition of the ... their offering. ... products and provides an updated review, including its applications ... covering the total market, which includes three main industries: ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: