Acrolein & MS

Purdue researchers have found evidence that an environmental pollutant may play an important role in causing MS and that a hypertension drug might be used to treat the disease. The research results represent the first concrete laboratory evidence for a link between acrolein and MS.

The compound is an environmental toxin found in air pollutants including tobacco smoke and auto exhaust. Acrolein also is produced within the body after nerve cells are damaged. Previous studies by the research team found that neuronal death caused by acrolein can be prevented by administering the drug hydralazine, an FDA-approved medication used to treat hypertension.

The new findings show that hydralazine also delays onset of MS in mice and reduces the severity of symptoms by neutralizing acrolein.

The researchers also learned the specific chemical signature of the drug that binds to acrolein and neutralizes it, potentially making it possible to create synthetic alternatives with reduced side effects. In MS, the myelin insulation surrounding nerve cells is destroyed and the nerve fibers themselves are damaged. Researchers of this study believe that acrolein is what degrades myelin and hope to be able to block that effect and thus delay the onset of MS and lessen the symptoms.

This is the first evidence that acrolein acts as a neurotoxin in MS and also the first time anyone has demonstrated hydralazine to be a neuroprotective drug. Other researchers had previously shown that acrolein damages liver cells and that the damage can be alleviated by hydralazine, leading the Purdue researchers to study its possible effects on spinal cord tissues.

< I’ve been absent for a while albeit following news… and made up my mind to post everything I had found interesting over the past months that I unfortunately didn’t have the time to post immediately…so please bear with me if some news aren’t “news” anymore… but I’ve simply decided to post them as I believe they are interesting to know… Therefore, for the full text visit Medical News Today (on the right) article dates back to November 24th 2010.. >

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