Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New hope for treatment of painful adult shingles

Date:
May 9, 2011
Source:
University of Georgia
Summary:
Researchers have discovered a compound with the potential to be more effective than existing agents in treating the very painful blisters known as shingles -- a condition that affects up to 30 percent of Americans, mostly elderly, and for which no specific treatment exists.

Researchers at the University of Georgia and Yale University have discovered a compound with the potential to be more effective than existing agents in treating the very painful blisters known as shingles -- a condition that affects up to 30 percent of Americans, mostly elderly, and for which no specific treatment exists.

Related Articles


Most adults remember the fever, itchy blisters and possibly tiny scars they experienced as children when they had chickenpox, which is caused by the varicella-zoster virus, or VZV.Unfortunately, that memory can come back -- with a vengeance -- when they are older. The VZV virus from childhood chickenpox hides in the nerves, emerging most frequently in adults over the age of 60 as a blistering rash on one side of the body. The rate of complications, including nerve pain that can persist for months or years after the shingles attack is gone, also increases with age.

The novel and effective anti-shingles agent called L-BHDA may change that. Rights to the shingles treatment have been licensed to Bukwang Pharmaceutical Company for preclinical investigations by the University of Georgia Research Foundation, Inc. and Yale University.

"We need new options for medications with increased potency and specificity that can treat VZV, including strains that may be resistant to existing drugs," said medicinal chemist Chung (David) Chu, Distinguished Research Professor of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences at UGA, one of the inventors of L-BHDA.

A collaboration between Chu and co-inventor Yung-Chi (Tommy) Cheng, the Henry Bronson Professor of Pharmacology at Yale, has resulted in an extensive portfolio of antiviral compounds that target such diseases as HIV, shingles, hepatitis and cancers.

Chu, who is head of the Drug Discovery Group in the UGA College of Pharmacy, said that although there are generic antiviral drugs to reduce the duration and pain of shingles, and a variety of pain medications and topical creams to relieve long-term pain, "They are only moderately effective.We need more effective anti-VZV agents.

"L-BHDA has the potential to be more effective than existing agents," said Chu. He noted that the new compound has been tested in the laboratory and demonstrated in mice models by a group of researchers headed by Jennifer Moffat, associate professor of microbiology and immunology, State University of New York Upstate Medical University.

A vaccine to prevent shingles, available to older adults since 2006, can cut the likelihood of a shingles attack in half. However, according to a recent study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, only a small percentage of older people receive the shot, principally because of cost, lack of insurance reimbursement and shortage of supply.

It is likely that immunization against chickenpox during childhood also protects against shingles, because the vaccine uses a weakened strain of the virus. However, the vaccine was only introduced in 1995, and there are not enough data to provide a definitive answer.

"Dr. Chu and Dr. Cheng have been working diligently to fill a much needed gap in the treatment options for such a prevalent disease," said Rachael Widener, UGARF technology licensing manager. "Before the chicken pox vaccine became widely used in the mid-1990s, older, unvaccinated individuals would have their immunity boosted naturally.

"Now, with less exposure to chicken pox, shingles is becoming more prevalent," said Widener. "This, combined with the aging baby boomer population, underscores the need for more directed treatment. We are hopeful that L-BHDA will allow patients to get well sooner and feel less pain, and will lessen their chances of complications."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Georgia. The original article was written by Terry Marie Hastings. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Georgia. "New hope for treatment of painful adult shingles." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 May 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110421171718.htm>.
University of Georgia. (2011, May 9). New hope for treatment of painful adult shingles. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110421171718.htm
University of Georgia. "New hope for treatment of painful adult shingles." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110421171718.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

AFP (Oct. 25, 2014) — An American nurse who contracted Ebola while caring for a Liberian patient in Texas has been declared free of the virus and will leave the hospital. Duration: 01:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) — IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) — A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) — The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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