Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

6/18/2014 (4 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Trials conducted on laboratory mice prove successful; human trial to begin next year

An old drug used in the treatment of sleeping sickness has also temporarily reversed symptoms of autism in mice, researchers have claimed. Researchers say the drug restored normal cellular signaling in a mouse model of autism in animals that were the human biological age equivalent of 30 years old. The results came with a caveat: the effects in the laboratory only lasted for around five weeks.

Suramin, a well-known inhibitor of purinergic signaling, first synthesized in 1916 and is commonly used to treat trypanosomiasis or African sleeping sickness, a parasitic disease was used in trial runs on the mice.

Suramin, a well-known inhibitor of purinergic signaling, first synthesized in 1916 and is commonly used to treat trypanosomiasis or African sleeping sickness, a parasitic disease was used in trial runs on the mice.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

6/18/2014 (4 months ago)

Published in Health

Keywords: Suramin, autism, sleeping sickness, trial tests, mice


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "Obviously correcting abnormalities in a mouse is a long way from a cure in humans, but we think this approach is a new and fresh way to think about and address the challenge of autism," Robert K. Naviaux at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine says.

One of the universal symptoms of autism, Naviaux says, is metabolic disturbances.

Get foodinto the hands of needy children -- by going here --

"Cells have a halo of metabolites (small molecules involved in metabolism, the set of chemical processes that maintain life) and nucleotides surrounding them.

"These create a sort of chemical glow that broadcasts the state of health of the cell."

Cells that are threatened or damaged by microbes, such as viruses or bacteria, or by physical forces or by chemicals, such as pollutants, react defensively, a part of the normal immune response. In this case, communications between cells are dramatically reduced.

If this occurs during childhood, for example, neuro-development is delayed. "Cells behave like countries at war," he says. "When a threat begins, they harden their borders. They don't trust their neighbors.

"One way to look at this related to autism is this: When cells stop talking to each other, children stop talking.

Suramin, a well-known inhibitor of purinergic signaling, first synthesized in 1916 and is commonly used to treat trypanosomiasis or African sleeping sickness, a parasitic disease was used in trial runs on the mice.
 
"The discovery that a single dose of medicine can fundamentally reset metabolism for weeks means that newer and safer drugs might not need to be given chronically," he said.

"Members of this new class of medicines might need to be given only intermittently during sensitive developmental windows to unblock metabolism and permit improved development in response to many kinds of behavioral and occupational therapies, and to natural play."

These recent findings dovetail with the idea that autism is caused by a multitude of interconnected factors: "Twenty percent of the known factors associated with autism are genetic, but most are not.

"It's wrong to think of genes and the environment as separate and independent factors. Genes and environmental factors interact. The net result of this interaction is metabolism."

Researchers found that suramin blocked the extracellular signaling pathway used by ATP and other mitokines in a mouse model of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), ending this cell danger response and related inflammation.

A single dose remained effective in the mice for about five weeks - but then washed out. Suramin also cannot be taken long-term since it can result in anemia and adrenal gland dysfunction.

Cells subsequently began behaving normally and autism-like behaviors and metabolism in the mice were corrected.

Naviaux said these and earlier findings are sufficiently encouraging to soon launch a small phase 1 clinical trial with children who have ASD later this year.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2014
Peace:
That the Lord may grant peace to those parts of the world most battered by war and violence.
World Mission Day: That World Mission Day may rekindle in every believer zeal for carrying the Gospel into all the world.



Comments


More Health

Ebola can stay virulent on unclean surfaces for SEVEN WEEKS, scientists say Watch

Image of  Under certain conditions -- Ebola can survive on surfaces for almost TWO MONTHS.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

As Ebola continues to ravage West Africa and make inroads in both Europe and the United States, an even more disheartening fact has been learned from experiments conducted four years ago. Under certain conditions -- Ebola can survive on surfaces for almost TWO ... continue reading


Tired of invasive colon tests? The Mayo Clinic may just have what you need Watch

Image of The Mayo Clinic has a new test for colon cancer that is less invasive or arduous than previous screening tests.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new test from the Mayo Clinic may help those who find colon cancer screenings too invasive or arduous. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The test is the first to look for cancer-causing genes in the DNA of a patient's stool, and was approved by the Food and Drug ... continue reading


Dallas nurse declared free of Ebola disease Watch

Image of

By CNA/EWTN News

Nina Pham, a Dallas nurse who has been battling Ebola after treating a patient in Texas, has now been declared free of the disease, and gave thanks to God and all those who have prayed for her in recent weeks. Washington D.C. (CNA/EWTN News) - "I feel fortunate and ... continue reading


People infected with Ebola sails past 10,000 mark - and half of them have died Watch

Image of The country hardest hit by the epidemic, Liberia, has compelled U.S. forces to build desperately needed treatment centers and help bring in aid.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It continues to spread unabated - according to the World Health Organization, more than 10,000 people have been infected with Ebola. Of those infected, nearly half of them have died. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The rapidly rising death toll is occurring ... continue reading


Quarantined Ebola-positive doctor used subway, went to bowling alleys Watch

Image of Dr. Craig Spencer, an American doctor living in New York City, is under quarantine after testing positive for the Ebola virus.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

As Dr. Craig Spencer, an American doctor living in New York City, is under quarantine after testing positive for the Ebola virus, officials are frantically tracking his steps throughout the city in order to see who could have been exposed. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


While death rates fall, tuberculosis still leaves millions stricken Watch

Image of The WHO said that insufficient funding was hampering efforts to combat the disease. An estimated $8 billion was needed each year.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

For a completely curable disease, tuberculosis continues its deadly worldwide toll. The World Health Organization says that about 1.5 million people died in 2013 from TB, including 360,000 people who were HIV positive. The organization estimates that there are ... continue reading


Have we passed the tipping point? Drug resistant tuberculosis could kill millions Watch

Image of Tuberculosis, also known as the

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported that multidrug resistant tuberculosis (TB) is reaching a tipping point, with about 480,000 new cases having occurred this year. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The lung disease killed nearly 1.5 million people ... continue reading


What's the biggest danger in your home? It will shock and disgust you Watch

Image of Kitchen towels in your home may be the biggest danger to the health of you and your family.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The biggest danger in your house aren't stairs, bugs or chemicals, but actually may be hand towels kept in the kitchen. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Kitchen towels may spread food poisoning, bacteria or other dangerous microorganisms around your home without any ... continue reading


NOT long enough: Ebola could lay dormant in the body for longer than 21 days, expert claims Watch

Image of Biology Professor Charles Hass, who has vast experience of analyzing the risk of transmitting biological pathogens, said

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new study warns that the recommended 21-day quarantine period for the Ebola virus is not long enough to contain the spread of the disease. While the World Health Organization advises the incubation period for the virus is between two and 21 days, scientists ... continue reading


Nurse says Texas Presbyterian Hospital was chaotic and filthy during Ebola outbreak Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Texas Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, Texas, reacted very poorly when it discovered that they had been treating a Liberian man with Ebola. According to a nurse who has since come forward, safety regulations were blithely ignored, contaminated linens and waste ... continue reading


All Health News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Philippians 1:1-11
1 Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, to all ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 111:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
1 Alleluia! I give thanks to Yahweh with all my ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 14:1-6
1 Now it happened that on a Sabbath day he had gone ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 31st, 2014 Image

St. Wolfgang
October 31: Wolfgang (d. 994) + Bishop and reformer. Born in Swabia, ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter