Neuro-protection

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Neuro-protection

Postby bromley » Fri Dec 02, 2005 2:25 pm

At my appointment the other week my neuro said that neuro-protection was the holy grail (I'd say neuro-regeneration was the holy grail).

I've hunted high and low for drugs companies working in this area but the CRAB maunfacturers seem happy to stick with their ineffective and expensive products.

The company which I have highlighted on many occasions (I have no financial interest etc) is Neuren of New Zealand. They have raised some funds which should help fund the trails for their neuro-protective drugs.

http://c.moreover.com/click/here.pl?j431844870&w=464753
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Neuren

Postby gwa » Fri Dec 02, 2005 7:35 pm

Bromley,

Neuren is one of the top three that I have on my list of companies that I believe will help us with better treatment.

The fact that the US Army research scientists are working side by side with this companies researchers to develop new brain injury treatments is a positive thing to me.

My fingers are crossed.

gwa
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Postby bromley » Sat Dec 03, 2005 2:04 am

GWA,

Glad you've also spotted Neuren's potential.

When I was dx last spring I came across the following article on Neuren and a different looking strategy for addressing MS. The immune-suppressing drugs have not really delivered (apart fron profits to their manufacturers) and nerve loss continues. What I want is something to prevent nerve loss and to stop any future disability.

And it is reassuring that the US Army is involved - the military are good at getting things done quickly (even if you don't agree with what they are doing!). Researchers, particularly MS researchers are slow at achieving very little.

Ian


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Postby raven » Sat Dec 03, 2005 8:32 am

I haven't checked any of the assertions made in the following link but they certainly bear closer scrutiny...

http://www.sharechat.co.nz/forum/showthread.php?t=124&page=2

Neuro-protection is a tricky one. Surely if you stop the cause of the damage then protection is redundant. If we are looking at restitution of already incurred damage that goes beyond mere protection towards regeneration which really is the holy grail. Although unless the initial cause is halted then regeneration is only a temporary or stop-gap measure. As I've said elsewhere regarding stem cells. There's no point in replastering the ceiling until you've fixed the leaky roof.

Robin
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Postby bromley » Sat Dec 03, 2005 10:42 am

Robin,

I think neuro-protection will be part of a strategy to address this disease. I re-call the Campath trial for those with SPMS which noted that although inflammation had been tackled, there was still 'unrelenting cerebral atrophy'. This is where neuro-protection could help, and also with other neuro-degenerative diseases such as Parkinsons.

Addressing the cause/s is the sensible option but work continues on this. EBV looks like it could be the cause / trigger, but if proved so, I'm not sure what could be done about it (unlike bacteria where abx are effective). So the strategy must be to limit inflammation, protect what you have left, repair the damage done. For thoe with SP / PP the first approach isn't really a runner as inflammation appears to be less of an issue.

I don't know much about Neuren but at least they are trialling neuro-protective agents.

The regeneration bit still seems some way off - stems cells etc. Although in the the next year we could start to see how some of the early trials on other CNS diseases are doing.

Ian
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Postby raven » Sat Dec 03, 2005 11:18 am

In studies of parenchymal volume changes it has been shown that in the first year the difference between the interferons and placebo is negligeable, yet in the second and following years the atrophy has been shown to reduce by as much as 50% in the interferon group. If we imagine that the death of neurons is a secondary event following and preconditioned by inflammation then some of the trial results start to make sense.

With specific reference to the secondary progressive patients treated with Campath, I would be very interested to see if the continuation of disability was halted after 12-18 months as the effects of prior inflammation work their way through the system. It's actually one of the questions I intend to ask the trial organisers when I next see them on the 10th of January.

I understand that if the triggering event is an endemic virus such as EBV then it becomes very difficult to eradicate the trigger. However that event also requires a skewed immune response in order to precipitate MS. If the immune system can be re-educated to avoid the abberant response then the virus becomes as benign as it is to the general population.

There is litte doubt that MS has a genetic component, whether the environmental factor that triggers MS is a virus, bacteria or even diet; all of us with MS share a common defect that results in this devastating disease. If the cascade of events that lead to inflammation, demyelination and neuronal apoptosis can be interrupted then we can all look forward to growing old as disgracefully as I intend to :lol:

Robin.
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Postby dignan » Sat Dec 03, 2005 1:52 pm

Robin, I think you make an important point when you say, "If the cascade of events that lead to inflammation, demyelination and neuronal apoptosis can be interrupted..."

Clearly the original cause of the whole process is important and I hope researchers don't let up until they find it, but it seems to me that MS can be stopped in its tracks without finding the original cause. We just need to, as you say, interrupt the cascade brought on by the original cause.

The key is that we figure out how to interrupt the cascade at a stage before any damage is done. That COULD mean that finding the original cause will be necessary to truly halt MS, or instead, perhaps we just need to step in many stages beyond the triggering stage and we will still be able to prevent any damage. I don't think anybody knows how early in the process we need to interrupt to stop MS in its tracks.
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Postby raven » Sun Dec 04, 2005 2:19 am

Dignan,

I think you're right in saying that nobody knows how early in the process intervention needs to be made, but they are getting there. In both the Campath and Tovaxin trials recipients are going the right way back up the EDSS scale. More long term data needs to be collected to determine whether this is a permanent move and MS really has been stopped in it's tracks but at the moment the signs are encouraging.

In my case, whilst I still have residual disability (EDSS 2.5 at last count) I continue to improve. I choose to believe that I no longer have active MS. These days I concentrate on eating well, staying fit and giving the improvements the best chance I can.

Robin
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Postby bromley » Sun Dec 04, 2005 9:47 am

Robin / Dignan,

I really hope that these discussions are taking place among the MS researchers. It's pretty sad that those of us with this disease are suggesting theories / making links etc.

My theory is that this disease starts with a virus (probably EBV) and that an odd immune system response (in those with a genetic susceptibility) leads to the cascade of events we call MS. Perhaps other viruses also contribute and may explain the different disease courses and rates of progression.

I will be starting Rebif soon as the neuro I saw at the Institute of Neurology told me to 'do something' i.e. start one of the DMDs. He mentioned that research pointed to atrophy being less for those taking a DMD.

If a virus is the trigger / underlying cause there is not much that can be done at the moment in terms of ridding the virus from our systems. And this may be too late if the real issue is that the virus causes our immune systems to go wrong which then damages our CNS etc etc.

On the BBC website today, there was a piece about a vaccine for cervical cancer which is caused by a virus - it's the immune system's inability to deal with the virus that results in the cancer. This may not be directly relevant to MS but it's clear that the immune system has to be altered to stop the resulting disease.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/4491990.stm

Hopefully, as more is found out about the immune system there will be better therapies to get it back to normal.



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