Israeli Scientists Seek Effective Treatment After Making Major Breakthrough in ALS Research

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Scientists at Tel Aviv University have made a major breakthrough in research into the disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) that could lead to effective treatments for the incurable disorder.

ALS is a neurodegenerative disease that slowly destroys the body’s motor functions, leading to complete paralysis and eventually death. Its most famous sufferer was the late physicist Stephen Hawking, who lived with the disease for decades.

A research team at TAU led by Doctor Eran Perlson has now discovered that the disease causes muscle cells to release toxins that destroy their connection to nerve cells, leading to the loss of motor functions. In addition, they found a molecule that blocks the release of these toxins, which could lead to the development of effective medication for the disease. Their findings were published in the prestigious Journal of Neuroscience.

Perlson told the Hebrew news site Walla that while the functional effect of ALS was previously known, “Until today researchers did not understand how and why this occurred, and in essence, why among all the nerve cells in the body, it specifically harmed motor nerves. The understanding of the mechanism that causes the disease is a positive step toward developing a medication in the future.”

According to Walla, the researchers discovered that the level of toxins in the relevant cells was lowered by the presence of micro-RNA molecules called mir-126. The molecule was tested on rats, who showed significant improvement in their condition.

“We believe our discovery is a major breakthrough on the way to developing an effective medication for ALS, and perhaps for other neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s — in which other types of nerve cells are destroyed,” Perlson stated.

Professor Vivian Drori, an expert in ALS, sounded a note of caution, however, saying, “There are sometimes breakthroughs, but there is a long way between a breakthrough and discovering a medication. This puts some pieces together, but there are many more gaps in the puzzle.”

A previous breakthrough in ALS research was also made in Israel. In 2017, Dr. Rachel Lichtenstein, a researcher at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, developed a treatment for the disease. Though it did not cure the disorder, it significantly slowed its progression.

(C) 2018 . The Algemeiner      .    Benjamin Kerstein

 

{Matzav.com}

3 COMMENTS

  1. My father had ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) for 3 years His first symptoms were weakness in his hands and losing his balance which led to stumbling and falling. He never lost the ability to swallow or breathe. His one hand, then his legs, were affected first; then his arms. The Rilutek (riluzole) did very little to help him. The medical team did even less. His decline was rapid and devastating. The psychological support from the medical centre was non-existent and if it were not for the sensitive care and attention of his primary physician, he would have died . There has been little if any progress in finding a cure or reliable treatment. So this year his primary physician suggested we started him on Natural Herbal Gardens ALS Herbal mixture which eased his anxiety a bit,We ordered their ALS herbal treatment after reading alot of positive reviews, i am happy to report this ALS herbal treatment reversed my dad condition. His quality of life has greatly improved and every one of his symptoms including difficulty in walking and slurred speech are gone. Their official web site is naturalherbalgardens. c o m He will be 74 soon and can now go about his daily activities

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