New drug protects nerve cells from damage in mice

Mar 14, 2008

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic inflammatory disease of the brain and spinal cord. Individuals with MS develop progressive neurological disability, and this is thought to be caused by degradation of the nerve cells.

It is therefore hoped that treatments that protect nerve cells might help individuals with the progressive form of MS. Data to support this hypothesis has now been generated using a chronic progressive EAE mouse model of MS by Howard Weiner and colleagues at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston.

In the study, treatment of mice after the onset of disease with a water-soluble agent known as ABS-75, which has antioxidant properties and blocks the stimulation of the subset of nerve cells that express the NMDA receptor, markedly reduced disease progression.

This beneficial effect was associated with decreased nerve cell degradation, and a similar protective effect was observed for ABS-75 when it was added to cultured nerve cells exposed to damaging reagents. These data led the authors to suggest that agents similar to ABS-75 might provide a new approach to treating individuals with MS and other neurodegenerative disorders.

Source: Journal of Clinical Investigation

Explore further: How sleep helps us learn and memorize

Related Stories

The origins of polarized nervous systems

Mar 03, 2015

(Phys.org)—There is no mistaking the first action potential you ever fired. It was the one that blocked all the other sperm from stealing your egg. After that, your spikes only got more interesting. Waves ...

First contracting human muscle grown in laboratory

Jan 13, 2015

In a laboratory first, Duke researchers have grown human skeletal muscle that contracts and responds just like native tissue to external stimuli such as electrical pulses, biochemical signals and pharmaceuticals.

Recommended for you

How sleep helps us learn and memorize

3 hours ago

Sleep is important for long lasting memories, particularly during this exam season. Research publishing in PLOS Computational Biology suggests that sleeping triggers the synapses in our brain to both streng ...

Hacking the nervous system

11 hours ago

When Maria Vrind, a former gymnast from Volendam in the Netherlands, found that the only way she could put her socks on in the morning was to lie on her back with her feet in the air, she had to accept that ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.