ALS is a refractory neurological disorder characterized by muscle atrophy due to disorder of spinal motor neurons. A team of Keio University Hospital has generated iPS cells from tissues of patients with neurological disorders and developed a drug screening method based on these cells. Ropinirole hydrochloride, a dopamine receptor agonist, developed by GlaxoSmithKline. When ropinirole hydrochloride was applied to patient’s iPS cell-derived motor neuron model, ALS pathology such as neurite shortening, increased apoptosis, mitochondrial dysfunction, abnormal protein aggregation, enhancement of oxidative stress, etc. was improved. Furthermore, neuronal cell death of motor neurons, the cause of ALS, was suppressed. The clinical trial will be the first to use ropinirole hydrochloride for ALS patients.

AMED news release, December 3, 2018

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