Turkish scientist Dr. Hande Özdinler has found a chemical to promote upper nerve regeneration, which could help treat amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a disease of the nervous system that is currently incurable and often affects children.
"Upper motor nerves are responsible for starting and conducting movement. Their degeneration appears in the first stages of ALS. We have found the chemical to revert upper motor neuron degeneration," Özdinler told the daily Sözcü.
Özdinler collaborated with Northwestern University chemistry Prof. Richard B. Silverman for the study that the Clinical and Translational Medicine journal published on Feb. 23.
The NU-9 chemical compound produced by the scientists allows for cell mitochondria and the endoplasmic reticulum to repair themselves, effectively promoting nerve regeneration, Özdinler said.
“Creating healthy upper motor neurons is so important for ALS and other neurological diseases,” the scientist added.
Özdinler and her team are completing their work before starting phase 1 trials with Northwestern University, where three more Turkish students are part of the study.