Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


Research may help Motor Neurone Disease sufferers

Research may help Motor Neurone Disease sufferers

New research into how different drugs can alter the development of Motor Neurone Disease is underway in Auckland.

The drug discovery project at the University of Auckland’s Centre for Brain Research, follows the arrival of Dr Emma Scotter from King’s College London to take up the Aotearoa Post-Doctoral Fellowship there.

She is working with Professor Mike Dragunow and Distinguished Professor Margaret Brimble at the CBR on research into about 4000 different drugs to see if any of the compounds can influence, or change, the development of Motor Neurone Disease in patient brain cells.

Motor Neurone Disease (MND) is a neurodegenerative disease in which the nerve cells, or neurons, controlling the muscles that enable us to move, speak, swallow and breathe slowly undergo degeneration and die. There are about 300 people in New Zealand with this fatal disease.

MND Association President Beth Watson welcomed the opportunity to highlight this research on the eve of MND Global Awareness Day on June 21.

“If we’re going to make a difference to people’s lives with MND, we need research like this to better understand the factors that cause it and ultimately find a cure,” she says.
“It’s a really exciting project and we’re lucky to have the likes of Dr Scotter and MND Patron and Director of the CBR, Professor Richard Faull, working on MND research in New Zealand.”

Dr Scotter says this research brings together unique factors that will not only help better understand MND, but may even find a drug that can help cure the disease.

“The first is working with a world-leading biobank, established and run by Professor Mike Dragunow with a $1 million philanthropic donation from the Hugh Green Foundation, which grows cells from the brains of patients who had MND (from the CBR’s Brain Bank),” says Dr Scotter. “Those cells have the same genetic code and were exposed to the same environment as the patient with MND.”

“What we really want to do from here is to screen for drugs that will eventually help patients with MND,” she says.

Dr Scotter, working with biobank staff, will use specially cultivated cells – cells which normally surround blood vessels in the brain and which control blood supply and inflammatory signals to the nerve cells affected in MND - to test their response to the different drugs.

These drugs are from two large drug libraries - one containing manufactured compounds and the second, derived from natural products - the result of a project led by Professor Margaret Brimble. Dr Scotter will also work closely with her former colleagues at King’s College London.

“This research project takes New Zealand’s MND research to an exciting new phase,” says Dr Scotter. “The best outcome would be to find that one of those drugs can alter or slow the effects of MND in patient brain cells.”

“No-matter what the outcome, the team will certainly learn a lot more about cell functions that are affected by MND and contribute to the increasing understanding of this disease”, she says.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Media: Fairfax Moves To Create Modern Newsroom

Fairfax Media New Zealand continues its newsroom transformation this week, with a proposal to further organise its editorial operations into focused, local teams and specialist national topic areas. More>>

ALSO:

Dairy: Fonterra Forecast For 2015/16 Season

Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited has today reduced its forecast Farmgate Milk Price for the 2014/15 season to $4.40 per kgMS. Along with its previously announced forecast dividend range of 20-30 cents per share, the change amounts to a forecast ... More>>

ALSO:

BusinessDesk: SkyCity Lifts Minimum Convention Centre Investment To $430M

SkyCity Entertainment Group, the casino operator, has lifted the minimum it will invest in the Auckland International Convention Centre to $430 million and said total costs including land may be $450 million to $470 million. More>>

Statistics: Drop In Dairy Prices Leads Fall In Exports

Total goods exports fell $240 million (5.5 percent) to $4.2 billion in April 2015 compared with April 2014, Statistics New Zealand said today. More>>

BusinessDesk: APN's NZME Sees Future In Paywalls, Growth In Digital Sales

APN News & Media has touted a single newsroom concept for its NZME unit in New Zealand, similar to what Germany's Die Welt uses, saying an 'integrated sales proposition' is helping it win market share, including ... More>>

Labour Party: Global Milk Prices Now Lowest In 6 Years

The latest fall in the global dairy price has brought it to the lowest level in six years and shows there must be meaningful action in tomorrow’s Budget to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Dairy prices ... More>>


BusinessDesk: NZ Inflation Expectations Creep Higher In June Survey

May 19 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand businesses lifted their expectations for inflation over the next two years, sapping any immediate pressure on the Reserve Bank to cut interest rates, and prompting the kiwi dollar to jump higher. More>>

BusinessDesk: Lower Fuel Costs Drive Down NZ Producer Input, Output Prices

May 19 - Producer input and output prices fell in the first quarter, mainly reflecting lower fuel costs and weakness in prices of meat and dairy products. More>>

Media: Fairfax Media NZ Announces Senior Editorial Team

Fairfax Media New Zealand has today confirmed its new editorial leadership team, as part of a transformation of its newsrooms aimed at enhancing local and national journalism across digital and print. More>>

Science: Flavonoids Reduce Cold And Cough Risk

Flavonoids reduce cold and cough risk Research from the University of Auckland shows eating flavonoids – found in green tea, apples, blueberries, cocoa, red wine and onions – can significantly reduce the risk of catching colds and coughs. The research, ... More>>

BusinessDesk: RBNZ House Alert Speech The Catalyst For Government Action

Prime Minister John Key all but conceded that pressure from the Reserve Bank of New Zealand for concerted action on rampant Auckland house prices was one of the main catalysts for the government's weekend announcements about tightly ... More>>

BusinessDesk: How To Fall Foul Of The New Housing Tax Rules: Tips From IRD

Just because you rented out your investment property doesn't absolve you from paying tax, says the Inland Revenue Department in a summary of commonly made mistakes by non-professional property investors when it comes to their tax liability.More>>

Legal: Superdiversity Law, Policy And Business Stocktake Announced

Mai Chen, Managing Partner at Chen Palmer New Zealand Public and Employment Law Specialists and Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Auckland, today announced the establishment ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news