A recent publication in Neurology Today highlights the research of Dr. Sabrina Paganoni who is testing a drug to slow the progression of ALS. This study is being done in collaboration with Les Turner ALS Research and Patient Center at Northwestern Medicine researcher Dr. Evangelos Kiskinis.
Of the study, Dr. Kiskinis says:
“Elevated levels of uric acid, which is a naturally secreted molecule, have recently been associated with an increased lifespan in ALS patients. The nature of this correlation is not well understood but it builds upon previous work spearheaded by my colleagues at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Schwarzschild et al., that demonstrated that elevated uric acid levels are associated with slower disease progression in Parkinson’s disease. We have been collaborating with Dr. Schwarzschild, Dr. Paganoni and Dr. Sadri-Vakili in order to investigate whether uric acid can in fact increase the survival of ALS patient motor neurons that we make from stem cells and to determine the mechanism behind this protective effect. The goal of this wonderful collaboration is to develop a preclinical foundation for the use of uric acid as therapy for ALS patients.”