Wonderdrug…To protect nerves

The BBC news was awash with the new “wonderdrug” and was hailed as the saviour of Alzheimers and Parkinsons disease. Quite rightly you are asking is this the saviour for MS?

Repurposed drugs targeting eIF2α-P-mediated translational repression prevent neurodegeneration in mice. Halliday et al. Brain

I was thinking of gearing up for a post, but I’m not sure I can be bothered to do a proper post. As ever there is a lot of media hype

This work stems from earlier work where the authors found that a drug that blocked protein folding shutdown seemed to help prion infected mice survive. Prion disease is caused by protein misfolding and this occurs in Alzheimer’s disease and we showed that this occurs in MS too.

Abnormally phosphorylated tau is associated with neuronal and axonal loss in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis and multiple sclerosis. Anderson JM, Hampton DW, Patani R, Pryce G, Crowther RA, Reynolds R, Franklin RJ, Giovannoni G, Compston DA, Baker D, Spillantini MG, Chandran S. Brain. 2008;131(Pt 7):1736-48

They screened a library and found two drugs that stopped the misfolding issue and it saved mice from two different diseases. 

It is hailed as a “wonderdrug” and a turning point and this has been has been splashed over the news. 

Let’s hope so. As I said I am too busy to spend a lot of time on this mouse study, but Let’s just look at the wondercure in the two models and let’s see what it does!

On the left we can see that mice survive a whole extra ten days before they die from the problem…Wondercure..Yeah.

It says in the media stuff that the drugs arrest…I take this to mean stop…not delay by ten days. This type of delay we see in Motor neuron mice with riluzole and this hasn’t been a cure, so don’t get your hopes up.

On the right, are mice that accumulate Tau protein and lose news in the hippocampus… they loose 50% rather than 75% of their nerves….Wondercure….Yeah

So there will be a clamour to do a human study, which will take years to do. Will this ultimately go anywhere?  I guess it depends on whether there is a patent. However, it may show something.

However, it is said that people talk trazodone to treat depression. Has this stopped Alzheimer’s….obviously not otherwise it would have been known by now….Can it change the trajectory? I don’t know. 

So more irresponsible reporting by the BBC and the media 

Trazodone  is an antidepressant of the serotonin antagonist and reuptake inhibitor (SARI) class. Trazodone also has anti-anxiety (anxiolytic) and sleep-inducing (hypnotic) effects. However, a side effect of trazodone, orthostatic hypotension, which may cause dizziness and increase the risk of falling. 

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    • Not Fake, it is what it is.
      But the reporting is undesirable again. This constant over hyping, above realistic expectation, makes us loose credibility.

      Maybe I am just a grumpy old Statler and Waldorf 🙂

  • Team G must be feeling upstaged, hence why they're downbeat on this drug.

    No-one takes Ten G seriously. The alleged 'cure' of alemtuzamab isn't being taken seriously by anyone.

    The true medical breakthroughes are taking place elsewhere. The news channels are uninspired by Team G and we are too. This blog is a cottage industry.

    • I ummed and arghed on this one. To spam or not but i won't rise to your bait. You asked. The data from the paper is there for you to read, make of it what you want.

    • If you look at the comments people were asking about it, thats why I decided to comment I wasn't going to bother otherwise.

    • 'So why the air time? It has nothing to do with MS.'

      Tell the BBC, they used ms as an example of the conditions it could help.

    • The BBC put "Scientists hope they have found a drug to stop all neurodegenerative brain diseases, including dementia."

      Then below there's a paragraph

      " Neurodegeneration
      ◾Neurodegenerative diseases include Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis and Huntington's "

      So the article implies MS is included.

    • We have a few stories we have sent to the press office i suspect that we wont be on tele but if they do what Cambridge (Look at their web site) media did which is why the media grabs the story.

      We all agree it is hype of the worst kind, as ProfG says he expects to be hearing about a positive phase III for that level of interest by the media. However this work comes from a Prion Lab and Prion research has had more millions of of pounds that there are people who have had BSE, so masters of spin.

      I've (MD2 actually) got headline for them "Wonder to Blunder drug" wonder if we will see this.

  • Bracing myself for the onslaught of 'have you seen the drug that cures ms on the BBC?' again from well meaning family and friends. 🙁

  • This is also new for me, I did not know that MS was a "prion" disease.

    I seriously doubt that Tredazone is the miracle drug in MS, it is even a very common antidepressant and probably someone with MS should already have used it Of the concomitant depression to MS.

    But actually speaking of disease with direct implication of the prions a recent Italian study pointed out that the death of neurons of the region linked to the mood changes, in the case the ventral tegmental region (where dopamine is produced, neurotransmitter linked to the changes according to the researchers, as a domino effect, the death of the neurons responsible for the production of dopamine decelerates the arrival of this substance to the hippocampus, causing a fault that generates the loss of memories, main Symptom of the disease.
    Then maybe Tredazone will help if the first symptom of Alzheimer's and causal symptom is Depression.


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