Holguín, Cuba Achieves Therapeutic Alternative Against Ataxia
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- Health and Medicine
- Science and Technology
- 03 / 09 / 2009
This is the first time in the world that an alternative therapy has been successful for this progressive disease, whose prevalence in the province is 42 patients per 10,000 inhabitants, the highest recorded in the world.
Dr. Jorge Rodriguez Chanfrau, deputy director of the Drug Research and Development Center (CIDEM), explained that from previous researches on the disease, it was revealed that people suffering from Ataxia have a low level of zinc in the blood, hence the need to test how the use of this microelement could improve phenotypic parameters of the pathology.
Rodriguez reported that the results are very encouraging, because patients included in the research increased the level of zinc in serum and cerebrospinal fluid in the basal state with respect to medical treatment started.
Dr Luis Perez Velazquez, director of CIRAH noted the beneficial effect of zinc in the diet of people suffering from ataxia, because this trace element is very important in the nervous system of the individual, including a neuro-modulator at the cerebellum. It also intervened in the transmission of electrical impulses to the immune system.
He acknowledged that the clinical trial phase 2, summarizes over 10 years of intense work of the CIRAH and its integration with other research institutions in the province and the country in the search for variables to carry out scientific research to improve the quality of life for these patients.
"These results show that you can change the course of the disease. We have managed to vary certain parameters in the patients; those related to balance, postural stability and improve parameters interrelated with higher cortical, cognitive or intellectual functions”, said Dr Velazquez.
"We are on the way to transform the evolution and starting age of the disease. We intend to extend these tests to the subjects carrying the mutation and to create in the province a center dedicated to clinical trials for patients and the descendants of SCA2”, assured the doctor.
He reaffirmed the commitment of scientists from several institutions and political and government authorities to further investigate the ways for SCA2 to no longer constitute a serious health problem.
Zinc sulphate 50 will be processed for their health entry in order to register its first draft in pharmaceutical industry in the province of Santiago de Cuba in late March or early April.