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Neurology

Heart Beat Molecule Could Be Useful in Treating Brain Disorders

16 years, 8 months ago

1748  0
Posted on Oct 10, 2002, 7 a.m. By Bill Freeman

Adenosine, a molecule that helps to control both the heartbeat and sleep could be useful in the treatment of diseases that affect the brain an nervous system, such as Alzheimer's and Lou Gehrig's disease. Laboratory tests on rat brain cells revealed that the molecule mimics nerve growth factors, cells that can prevent the death of brain cells.

Adenosine, a molecule that helps to control both the heartbeat and sleep could be useful in the treatment of diseases that affect the brain an nervous system, such as Alzheimer's and Lou Gehrig's disease. Laboratory tests on rat brain cells revealed that the molecule mimics nerve growth factors, cells that can prevent the death of brain cells. While nerve growth factors themselves could be used to the same effect, they are difficult to give to patients because their size prevent them from crossing the blood-brain-barrier. The team believe that the small size of adenosine makes it a perfect candidate for the treatment of brain disorders.

SOURCE/REFERENCE: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA March 6, 2001;doc. 0201 (online version)

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