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Multiple sclerosis drug serves as model for potential drugs to treat botulism poisoning

Date:
November 18, 2010
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Scientists are reporting that variants of a drug already approved for treating multiple sclerosis show promise as a long sought treatment for victims of bioterrorist attack with botulinum neurotoxin -- which is 10,000 times deadlier than cyanide and the most poisonous substance known to man. The potential drugs also could be useful in treating other forms of botulism poisoning as well as Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis, and myasthenia gravis, they say in a new article.

Scientists are reporting that variants of a drug already approved for treating multiple sclerosis show promise as a long sought treatment for victims of bioterrorist attack with botulinum neurotoxin -- which is 10,000 times deadlier than cyanide and the most poisonous substance known to man. The potential drugs also could be useful in treating other forms of botulism poisoning as well as Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis, and myasthenia gravis, they say in an article in ACS Chemical Biology.

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Kim D. Janda and colleagues explain that the lack of any approved drug treatment for botulism poisoning leaves a major gap in defenses against bioterrorism and biological warfare. People exposed to botulism toxin develop paralysis, cannot breathe, and may require months of treatment on respirators. "The numbers of medical care units capable of providing supportive care for recovery in the event of a bioterrorism incident would be limited," they note.

The scientists knew that the multiple sclerosis drug diaminopyridine showed promise for working inside nerve cells to counteract the effects of diaminopyridine botulism toxin. However, diaminopyridine itself had disadvantages, including its ability to pass into the brain and have toxic effects on brain tissue. They modified the molecular structure of diaminopyridine to produce two new substances that did not enter the brain and showed good potential as botulism treatments in mice that had been paralyzed by the toxin.

Funding was provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Alexander V Mayorov, Bert Willis, Antonia Di Mola, Derek Adler, Jennifer Borgia, Olin Jackson, Jie Wang, Yongyi Luo, Lei Tang, Richard J. Knapp, Chandra Natarajan, Michael Goodnough, Noam Zilberberg, Lance Simpson, Kim Janda. Transient Relief of Botulinum Neurotoxin/A Intoxication with Aminopyridines - A New Twist on an Old Molecule. ACS Chemical Biology, 2010; 101011230605082 DOI: 10.1021/cb1002366

Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Multiple sclerosis drug serves as model for potential drugs to treat botulism poisoning." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 November 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101117124634.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2010, November 18). Multiple sclerosis drug serves as model for potential drugs to treat botulism poisoning. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 31, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101117124634.htm
American Chemical Society. "Multiple sclerosis drug serves as model for potential drugs to treat botulism poisoning." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101117124634.htm (accessed March 31, 2015).

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