Discovery of a promising medication for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) - (ScienceDaily via NewsPoints Desk)

  • Study data published in the journal JCI Insight describe a potential new treatment for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), ScienceDaily reported Thursday.

  • "This medication alleviates the symptoms of ALS in animal models," said study author Alex Parker, adding "other studies must be conducted to confirm our results, but we believe that we've found a medication that may prove to be more effective in improving patients' quality of life."

  • "We sifted through a library of 3850 molecules approved for the treatment of other diseases, and found a class of antipsychotic drugs that stabilise mobility in worms and fish," remarked study author Pierre Drapeau, continuing "pimozide works especially well in preventing paralysis in fish by preserving the neuromuscular junction."

  • In the study, the researchers treated 25 patients with ALS with the drug, finding that after six weeks, the therapy blocked the loss of control of the thenar muscles, one of the first symptoms of the disease.

  • "We don't yet know whether pimozide has a curative effect, or whether it only preserves normal neuromuscular function to at least stabilise the disease," Drapeau cautioned.

  • The research team plans to conduct a Phase II study involving 100 volunteers.

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