Posted on Jul 30, 2018, 2 a.m.
Discovery of 2 molecules could lead to new drug treatments from traumatic brain injury, after 10 years of research the molecule have been identified to protect nerve cells and promote full recovery after traumatic brain injury in mice, as published in Neurobiology of Disease.
Traumatic brain injury is among the leading causes of death for individuals under the age of 45 within the USA, and is associated with disability, cognitive disorders, epilepsy, mental illness, and early onset dementia.
Most approaches for treating traumatic brain injury focus on trying to prevent neurons from degenerating or on attempts to promote their survival as TBI typically alters neural circuits within injured brain regions, issue being that there really isn’t a drug that works well to help restore memory. Researchers are working towards targeting reconnectivity of neural circuitry, wanting neurons to function properly and connect with other neurons to allow patients to retain cognition and ability to learn and remember.
The protein cypin was examined which is an enzyme that breaks down guanine and is an important building block for DNA and RNA in cells. Cypin was previously shown to be involved in the promotion of the proper shape in neurons and keeping them happy. Researchers found that speeding breakdown of guanine protected neurons from injury and helped to retain brain functioning. Next the researchers from Rutgers University want to develop drugs from these molecules for additional studies.
Materials provided by Rutgers University.
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Przemyslaw Swiatkowski, Emily Sewell, Eric S. Sweet, Samantha Dickson, Rachel A. Swanson, Sara A. McEwan, Nicholas Cuccolo, Mark E. McDonnell, Mihir V. Patel, Nevin Varghese, Barclay Morrison, Allen B. Reitz, David F. Meaney, Bonnie L. Firestein. Cypin: A novel target for traumatic brain injury. Neurobiology of Disease, 2018; 119: 13 DOI: 10.1016/j.nbd.2018.07.019