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:10/13/2017)... WI (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... As ... in medicine known as “patient engagement.” The patient is doing more than filling out ... partners. , “There is an increasing emphasis in health care and research on ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... The International Association of ... of excellence for the field of eating disorders, announces the opening of early ... in Orlando, Florida at the Omni Resort at ChampionsGate. , The ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 13, 2017 , ... Lori R. Somekh, founder of the Law Office ... of elder law and special needs planning attorneys. “Membership in ElderCounsel helps our office ... forum to network with elder law attorneys nationwide,” said Somekh. , ElderCounsel ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... The Visiting ... Day Market. Featuring a collection of specialty vendors and unique items from across the ... and quality-focused health and wellness services offered by the VNA. The boutique will ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... Yisrayl Hawkins, ... week that explains one of the most popular and least understood books in the ... cryptic and puzzling descriptions that have baffled scholars for centuries. Many have tossed it ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... --  Divoti USA will engrave and process all ... the latest FDA requirements, which stipulates new criteria regarding medical device ... of Medical ID jewelry such as Medical ID Bracelets, can rest ... terms of the new FDA requirements . ... Divoti offers this dark mark fiber laser engraving ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... , Oct. 11, 2017  Caris Life Sciences ... on fulfilling the promise of precision medicine, today announced ... joined Caris, Precision Oncology Alliance™ (POA) as its 17 ... centers, the St. Jude Crosson Cancer Institute will help ... the use of tumor profiling, making cancer treatment more ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. , Oct. 10, 2017  NDS received ... Mobile  — a medical-grade battery-powered display stand specifically designed for ... aims to transform technology into a clinical solution to support the ... costs. Innovative Design ... NDS ZeroWire Mobile Wireless Solution ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: