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‘Cure’ no longer wrong word in paralysis research

April 24, 2005

Filed under: Search for a Cure

Until recently, Dr. Stephen G. Waxman, director of the Yale University-affiliated Center for Neuroscience and Regeneration Research, refused to use the c-word.
Repairing severed spinal cords, treating multiple sclerosis or relieving the intense pain that lingers after an amputation were far too distant goals.
“Cure” was a false promise.
Now, restoring certain physical functions and mending torn, severed or diseased nerves is almost in reach.

Read the full article.

Fixing genes is a snip

Filed under: Gene Therapy

A revolutionary treatment could provide the solution to many life-threatening, inherited diseases

Push to the back of your mind all the recent research identifying genes associated with disease. This landmark research is about actually re-writing genes. It opens up the prospect of making permanent repairs to any gene that is causing a disease or disability.
The new technique, dubbed “gene editing”, overcomes many of the problems associated with current techniques of gene therapy by harnessing the DNA’s own repair system to correct the fault in the gene. The key is something called zinc finger proteins. Remember the name — you’ll be hearing a lot more about them.

Read the full article.

The Second National Neuropathy Association Conference

April 19, 2005

A Decade of Dedication

Dr. Zarife Sahenk of Ohio State University will speak on Advances in Nerve Regeneration at the The Second National Neuropathy Association Conference next month.


Spring into Action! Join by phone

April 12, 2005

Filed under: Action Alerts

As you know, our Congressional champions are re-introducing the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Act at the Spring Into Action Rally tomorrow, April 12th, in Washington D.C. Over 150 advocates are attending to educate legislators from across the country on paralysis research and quality of life issues. We are grateful to those of you who are able to join us in person, but for those of you unable to attend, you can still participate. Call your Members of Congress in support of the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Act (CRPA)!


Distinct disease mechanisms in peripheral neuropathies due to altered peripheral myelin protein 22 gene dosage or a Pmp22 point mutation

April 7, 2005

Filed under: Journal articles

Neurobiol Dis. 2005 Apr;18(3):656-68.
Giambonini-Brugnoli G, Buchstaller J, Sommer L, Suter U, Mantei N.
Point mutations affecting PMP22 can cause hereditary demyelinating and dysmyelinating peripheral neuropathies. In addition, duplication and deletion of PMP22 are associated with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease Type 1A (CMT1A) and Hereditary Neuropathy with Liability to Pressure Palsy (HNPP), respectively.


The Fight is On. Protect Research, Defend Hope!

April 6, 2005

Filed under: Action Alerts

A message from the Christopher Reeve Action Network

We knew that our opponents were gearing up for an assault on research, and here they come. Senators Sam Brownback (R-KS) and Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Representative Dave Weldon (R-FL) have introduced the Human Cloning Prohibition Act (S.658, H.R.1357). The legislation prohibits human reproductive cloning (cloning to create a human being – which we all believe is unethical and provides no societal benefit). But their legislation goes much further.
Research is under attack. Our opponents aren’t interested in finding common ground, they are committed to an ideological agenda. Their bill also bans somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT, also known as therapeutic cloning) used for medical research purposes. Worse, it imposes severe criminal and civil penalties on scientists for practicing this potentially lifesaving research. In short, this bill would send scientists conducting SCNT research to jail for growing cells in a petri dish.
Urge your Members of Congress to vote against the Human Cloning Prohibition Act S.658 or H.R. 1357 and instead support medical research by supporting the Human Cloning Ban and Stem Cell Research Protection Act.


Scientist envisions electronic solution to damaged nervous systems

April 3, 2005

Filed under: Neuroprosthetics

Another article on the BrainGate system from Cyberkinetics:

The development means scientists might one day be able to connect the brains of paralyzed patients to muscle stimulators, allowing them to once again move their paralyzed limbs. Donoghue envisions a time in the future when people with spinal cord injuries or disease that attack the nerves will move like others, with wiring under their skin replacing their own nervous system.

The American Society for Neurochemistry 36th Annual Meeting

April 2, 2005

Filed under: Events

The American Society for Neurochemistry will be holding its 36th annual meeting from June 24 through 29 in Madison, Wisconsin. The program includes at least one lecture of interest, on Molecules and Mechanisms in Schwann Cell Development.

Curis Achieves Milestone under Wyeth Collaboration

Filed under: Promising Drugs

Curis, Inc. (NASDAQ: CRIS), a therapeutic drug development company, today announced that it has achieved a development milestone under a collaboration with one of its corporate partners, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, a division of Wyeth (NYSE: WYE). The milestone is based on Wyeth’s and Curis’ continued progress in preclinical development of Hedgehog pathway agonists for the treatment of stroke, neurological and other disorders. The milestone will trigger a modest payment from Wyeth to Curis in accordance with the terms of their 2004 agreement.
The Hedgehog signaling pathway regulates the normal development of the brain and spinal cord. Wyeth and Curis are collaborating to develop several promising small molecule agonist compounds that can activate the Hedgehog signaling pathway and thereby promote nervous system repair. Many of these small molecules are orally available and can enter into the brain and spinal cord, thus making them an attractive new class of drug development candidates for neurological disorders.


New treatment offers better neuropathic pain relief: study

A new treatment that uses two old drugs together may offer hope of relief to millions of North Americans who suffer neuropathic pain.
A type of chronic stabbing, burning pain, neuropathic pain is often a mystery to health care workers. But it is a real and debilitating illness for patients who report being unable to work, sleep or concentrate.