Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Researchers Identify Pathway That May Slow The Progression Of Lou Gehrig’s Disease

Date:
April 17, 2000
Source:
Columbia University College Of Physicians And Surgeons
Summary:
Columbia researchers have participated in a new study that points toward a potential treatment for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Discovery Suggests Strategies for Drug Treatment of Disease in Humans

Columbia researchers have participated in a new study that points toward a potential treatment for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

The study was led by Dr. Robert M. Friedlander of Harvard Medical School and the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Neuroapoptosis Laboratory and Neurosurgical Service, will be published in the April 14 issue of Science. Dr. Serge Przedborski, an associate professor of neurology and pathology in Columbia’s College of Physicians & Surgeons, was the main collaborator in the study that also involved researchers from the University of Chicago’s Department of Medicine.

The study employed mice genetically engineered to have a mutation in the superoxide dismutase-1 gene (SOD-1), the same mutation found in the familial or hereditary form of ALS. Caspases are enzymes that are unleashed in apoptosis, or planned cell death, to destroy cells that are no longer needed or are abnormal. Researchers believe that in neurodegenerative diseases like ALS, the process of caspase-mediated apoptosis is misdirected and begins to destroy neurons.

In the study, mice given a compound called zVAD-fmk that blocks the action of caspases developed ALS-like symptoms later and lived 22 percent longer than the mice who did not receive the drug.

Dr. Przedborski points out that while zVAD-fmk inhibits several caspases at once, pharmaceutical companies have compounds under development that may inhibit caspases more specifically. He calls the study “proof of principle” that a caspase-inhibiting drug could help delay onset of symptoms and prolong life in ALS patients.

Currently, no treatment exists for ALS. “Virtually all our patients are dying,” Dr. Przedborski says. “We can prolong life with mechanical ventilation, we can temporarily improve their quality of life with different strategies, but ultimately our patients are dying.”

Dr. Przedborski notes that caspase inhibitors would not be a miracle drug and would not cure ALS. However, he suggests that a “cocktail” of drugs that attack the neurodegenerative process at several different points--similar to the successful strategy now used to treat HIV infection--could one day be used to slow the development of symptoms and prolong survival in ALS patients.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Columbia University College Of Physicians And Surgeons. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Columbia University College Of Physicians And Surgeons. "Researchers Identify Pathway That May Slow The Progression Of Lou Gehrig’s Disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 April 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/04/000417095314.htm>.
Columbia University College Of Physicians And Surgeons. (2000, April 17). Researchers Identify Pathway That May Slow The Progression Of Lou Gehrig’s Disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/04/000417095314.htm
Columbia University College Of Physicians And Surgeons. "Researchers Identify Pathway That May Slow The Progression Of Lou Gehrig’s Disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/04/000417095314.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Since the arrival of Ebola in Ivory Coast, Ivorians have been abandoning their pets, particularly monkeys, in the fear that they may transmit the virus. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Links Male-Pattern Baldness To Prostate Cancer

Study Links Male-Pattern Baldness To Prostate Cancer

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) New findings suggest men with a certain type of baldness at age 45 are 39 percent more likely to develop aggressive prostate cancer. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

      Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins