MSU Working On New Treatment For Neurological Disorders - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

MSU Working On New Treatment For Neurological Disorders

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EAST LANSING, MI (WLNS) - Michigan State University physicists are in the beginning stages of developing a new drug that could help fight neurological disorders.

Research at Michigan State University, published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, shows that a small “molecular tweezer” keeps proteins from clumping, or aggregating, the first step of neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and Huntington’s disease.

The results are pushing the promising molecule toward clinical trials and actually becoming a new drug, said Lisa Lapidus, MSU associate professor of physics and astronomy and co-author of the paper.
“By the time patients show symptoms and go to a doctor, aggregation already has a stronghold in their brains,” she said. “In the lab, however, we can see the first steps, at the very place where the drugs could be the most effective. This could be a strong model for fighting Parkinson’s and other diseases that involve neurotoxic aggregation.”

This work was preceded by Lapidus’ research involving the spice curcumin. While the spice molecules put the researchers on a solid path, the molecules weren’t viable drug candidates because they cannot cross the blood-brain barrier, or BBB, the filter that controls what chemicals reach the brain.

Since funding for projects like this can be a challenge, Gal Bitan, co-author and professor at UCLA, is using crowdsourcing to raise funds for the clinical trials. Log on to the indiegogo.com website for more information.




 
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