Pin It
.
Favorites

UR drug may improve memory 

A team of scientists at the University of Rochester, led by Dr. Harris Gelbard and Stephen Dewhurst, UR vice dean of research, may have developed the first drug to improve memory and cognitive ability in patients with certain types of illnesses.

And a new company, Camber NeuroTherapeutics, has been founded to usher the drug called URMC-099 through human trials in 2016.

Conditions such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's, and HIV have a common characteristic. Neuroinflammation of the brain in patients with these illnesses often damages nerve cells and inhibits their normal function, causing memory and cognitive problems. This leaves some patients unable to perform simple tasks.

For instance, Gelbard says that even though HIV is typically thought of as an immune system malfunction, it's also a condition of the brain. When HIV finds its way into the brain, it causes progressive neuroinflammation and numerous cognitive disorders. Even the first description of the neurology of AIDS was of a Parkinson's-like syndrome, Gelbard says.

"One out of two people living with HIV today has some type of brain disease," he says. "There are close to 34 million people living with HIV, which makes it no small problem."

While the inflammation begins early in people with HIV, he says, it's a more gradual process over decades for people with Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

Post-operative cognitive function is another area where the researchers say that the new drug can have a positive impact. Cognitive function can be impaired after surgery. The problems seem to go away in a few months in some patients, but in others they can last longer or even become permanent.

Gelbard and Dewhurst targeted most of their research on a "worker bee" enzyme called MLK3, which plays a pivotal role in kick-starting the neuroinflammatory process. Their drug, URMC-099, "turns off" the enzyme.

Some of the researchers' work, which is funded by $25 million in grants from the National Institutes of Health, was published in the Journal of Neuroscience and the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. The articles showed that the inflammation was stopped in studies involving mice.

Camber NeuroTherapeutics is preparing to submit an application to the Food and Drug Administration so that URMC-099 can begin human trials next year. The UR has granted the company, which is based in West Henrietta, the worldwide patent rights to the drug.

Speaking of University Of Rochester, Rochester Medical Research

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Browse Listings

Submit an event
Flapjack Saturday Community Fundraiser @ First Baptist Church of Penfield

Flapjack Saturday Community Fundraiser @ First Baptist Church of Penfield

Proceeds support Resolve, dedicated to preventing domestic and sexual violence against women....

Annual Film Festival & Community Discussion on Race: Racism & the Power of Words on Communities of Color @ Spiritus Christi Church

The half-day event will include watching several film clips followed by small...

Fire & Ice Winter Festival @ City of Canandaigua

https://www.downtowncanandaigua.com/events/2018/2/10/fire-ice-winter-festival...

View all of today's events »

  • Re: County exec race will be Dinolfo versus Bello

    • Bello was Irondequoit supervisor for two years and two and 1/2 months, Jan. 1, 2016…

    • on February 15, 2019
  • Re: County exec race will be Dinolfo versus Bello

    • So, Happy, it sounds like you agree with me. There's nothing new and exciting in…

    • on February 15, 2019
  • Re: Diner series: Mt. Hope Diner

    • I have been going here for at least 50 years, back in the Pat and…

    • on February 15, 2019
  • More »
  • This Week's Issue

    Cover Story:
    Education... means emancipation
    What would Frederick Douglass think now of the state of education in the city he loved? Seven Rochesterians – community leaders, students, and parents – offer their assessment and their advice.
    read more ...

    Tweets @RocCityNews

    © 2019 City Newspaper.

    Website powered by Foundation.