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Inclusion myopathy: a breakthrough

HEALTH

03 - 22 - 2017

Inclusion myopathy: a breakthrough

Inclusion myopathies form a group of neuromuscular diseases. One of these forms involves the VCP gene and is associated with a late dementia. There is no treatment.

Researchers modelled the mutation of the VCP gene in the fly and discovered how this mutation resulted in cellular damage. The mutated VCP is hyperactive and degrades a type of protein necessary for the proper function of mitochondria, the energy power centres of the cells. Molecules that inhibit VCP have helped repair the cell damage in flies and in patient cells.

Anti-VCP compounds are currently being clinically tested to treat cancer. Their effect on diseases related to mutations in VCP (myopathy, ALS, peripheral neuropathies) could be examined. 

There is a link between pain and immunity

FUNDAMENTAL RESEARCH

03 - 21 - 2017

There is a link between pain and immunity

When one is injured, the brain perceives pain while at the same time, the immune cells are mobilized to protect and repair the injured tissue. A team of Inserm researchers in Marseille found that in mice that do not perceive pain, the immune response is compromised. There is therefore a direct link between neurons and immunity. The team identified compounds involved in this link and is preparing a publication. It has just received an important European grant which will allow the acceleration of the research in this innovative field.

 

Depressed mice and humans

HEALTH

03 - 21 - 2017

Depressed mice and humans

Depression is a disease that affects about 350 million people. The causes are external (environmental, social) or internal (dysfunction of the endocrine system or even genetic).

The cellular mechanisms behind depression are still quite unknown, the study from the University of California in San Diego is interesting in that way. It looks at an enzyme involved in neuronal metabolism, called glyoxalase 1 (GLO1). The researchers found that inhibiting this enzyme decreases the signs of depression in mice in behavioural tests. In each of these tests, inhibiting the GLO1 enzyme reduced symptoms more rapidly than Prozac, a drug conventionally used to treat this disease.

These result are preliminary, but they could open the way to a new approach to treat depression. 

Finding new anti-malarial drugs

HEALTH

03 - 20 - 2017

Finding new anti-malarial drugs

A new family of compounds, o-aminocresols, closely related to steroids, has interesting properties to fight against the parasite responsible for malaria.

These new compounds prevent the parasite from protecting itself against certain toxic products that come from its own activity in the body. Tests carried out by the CNRS in  mouse models of infection show that these compounds are active against the forms of the lifecycle of the parasite that is involved in the transmission to mosquitoes.

These results pave the way to a possible use of these substance to treat malaria and other diseases caused by blood parasites. 

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