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

 

Budget Policy Statement: Spending Wins Over Tax Cuts; Big Ticket Items Get Boost

Income tax cuts are on hold as the government says “responding to the earthquakes and reducing debt are currently of higher priority”, although election year tax sweeteners remain possible. More>>

ALSO:

Fishy: Is Whitebaiting Sustainable?

The whitebait fry - considered a delicacy by many - are the juveniles of five species of galaxiid, four of which are considered threatened or declining. The SMC asked freshwater experts for their views on the sustainability of the whitebait fishery and whether we're doing enough to monitor the five species of galaxiid that make up whitebait. More>>

ALSO:

Crown Accounts: Smaller-Than-Expected Four-Month Deficit

The New Zealand government's accounts recorded a smaller-than-forecast deficit in the first four months of the fiscal year on a higher-than-expected inflow of corporate and goods and services tax. More>>

ALSO:

On For Christmas: KiwiRail Ferries Back In Full Operation After Quake

KiwiRail’s Interislander ferries are back in full operation for the first time since the Kaikoura earthquake, with the railspan that allows rail wagons to be loaded on the Aratere now restored. More>>

ALSO:

Comerce Commission Investigation: Prosecutions Over Steel Mesh Labelling

Steel & Tube Holdings, along with two other companies, will be prosecuted by the Commerce Commission following the regulator's investigation into seismic steel mesh, while Fletcher Building's steel division has been given a warning. More>>

ALSO:

Wine: 20% Of Marlborough Storage Tanks Damaged By Quake

An estimated 20 percent of wine storage tanks in the Marlborough region, the country’s largest wine producing area, have been damaged by the impact of the recent Kaikoura earthquake. More>>

ALSO:

ACC: Levy Recommendations For 2017 – 2019 Period

• For car owners, a 13% reduction in the average Motor Vehicle levy • For businesses, a 10% reduction in the average Work levy, and changes to workplace safety incentive products • For employees, due to an increase in claims volumes and costs, a 3% increase in the Earners’ levy. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news