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Russia testing Alzheimer's, Parkinson's medicine

Wednesday January 02, 2013

Margarita Bogatova

The Voice of Russia - Russian scientists have been testing a new medicine that is expected to protect the nervous system and hopefully become a cure for the most wide-spread nervous diseases such as Alzheimer`s and Parkinson`s, as well as strokes and depression.

The medicine is currently undergoing pre-clinical tests. Experts believe that it in the coming years it will give millions of people a hope for recovery.

Treating nervous diseases has always been a challenging and costly task. The treatment for Parkinson`s and Alzheimer`s costs some $1 million with patients required to receive brain injections. Over the past 25 years scientists have been looking for a simpler way of treating these diseases. The most difficult thing about this is a lack of knowledge about chemical processes taking place in the brain, says Larisa Chigaleichik, senior researcher at the Russian Academy of Sciences` Center for Neurology…

"The brain protects itself and does not let medicines in. So we do not only need to know what reactions are taking place there, we have to know how to transfer a medicine directly to the brain cells without harming the liver or kidneys. We are now working to develop new methods of making the medicines more effective. Tests made on animals have proved successful."

The existing medicines are used in brain injections otherwise the human organism, or if to be more exact- the brain’s system of biological protection, would have destroyed them. Proteins that protect neurons from destruction are too big, so making their smaller copies has remained a matter of priority for scientists in the past 25 years. The Russian scientists have demonstrated the best results, says Tatiana Gudasheva, the head of the chemistry department at the Zakusov Scientific Institute…

"Many pharmaceutical companies now produce small molecules that mimic neurotrophins. We have invented the smallest ever molecule that can mimic the neurotrophic effect and can be used in systemic injection."

Systemic injections are alternative schemes of taking medicines – intravenous, intra-abdominal or intramuscular. The institute has been testing the molecule applying to different kind of diseases and deals with patenting the invention.

"We have applied our new method to several scenarios of how Alzheimer`s and Parkinson`s usually develops, we also watched the brain’s reactions caused by a stroke, and each time our tests were successful. We have patented our method in Russia and are going to receive an international patent as well."

The head of the Russian Scientific Institute of Pharmacology Sergei Seredenin has confirmed that after the pre-clinical testing the newly discovered substance could become a real medicine in the near future.

"Although Russian scientists warn against exaggerating the importance of the invention until all tests are over, chances are still quite high for a real breakthrough to take place in treating Alzheimer`s and Parkinson`s."