Altered fat metabolism, enzyme, likely plays key role in Lou Gehrig’s disease

altered fat metabolism enzyme likely plays key role in lou gehrigs disease

Sumary of Altered fat metabolism, enzyme, likely plays key role in Lou Gehrig’s disease:

  • Notably, by tampering with the arachidonic acid pathway in mice bred to develop the biological hallmarks of ALS, the researchers say they were able to reduce the condition’s muscle-weakening symptoms in the mice — which experienced a 20%-25% increase in grip strength — and extend their survival by two to three weeks.
  • The scientists used caffeic acid, an anti-inflammatory compound found naturally in coffee, tea, tomatoes and wine, to tamp down the arachidonic acid pathway, but they caution that people with ALS should not rush to treat themselves with the substance, which is sold as an unregulated dietary supplement.
  • More studies are needed to determine safe levels of a caffeic acid supplement — some reports have indicated potentially harmful side effects, including cancers and gut problems.
  • Also sold in alleged muscle enhancement powders, arachidonic acid in inappropriate and untested amounts can be toxic, triggering brain cells to die off, experts say.
  • The new study built on the established observation that though patients with ALS lose most of their muscle control because of damaged spinal motor neurons, generally they can still control their eye movements, which are guided by ocular neurons, says Gabsang Lee, D.
  • To further test the role of arachidonic acid, the investigators performed experiments to reverse its effects by feeding caffeic acid first to fruit flies genetically engineered to develop ALS-type symptoms.
  • Flies fed caffeic acid were able to move around more, climb up the test tube more often and live longer than flies that did not receive the compound.
  • The scientists then conducted similar experiments with caffeic acid in mice bred to develop ALS, and those that received the compound lived two to three weeks longer than mice not fed the compound.

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