A “really extraordinary” medication combats motor neuron illness

According to researchers, part of the terrible and unrelenting degeneration brought on by motor-neuron illness has been halted or even reversed (MND).

Despite only being effective in 2% of patients, the therapy has been hailed as “really astounding” and a “genuine moment of hope” for the entire condition.

One eminent specialist claimed that although people have improved, this is not a cure.

There is “growing trust,” according to the MND Association, in the treatment.

The loss of the nerves that transmit signals from the brain to people’s muscles results in MND, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Moving, speaking, and even breathing become difficult for them.

Most persons with the condition pass away within two years of diagnosis, significantly shortening their lifespans.

The first British participant in the multinational experiment, described in the New England Journal of Medicine, was Les Wood, 68, of South Yorkshire.

Since walking and using his hands became more challenging due to MND, he had to quit his job as an electrician, and his wife, Val, a nurse, had to do the same.

He develops a poisonous version of the protein SOD1, which kills motor neurons, as a result of a mutation in a particular region of his genetic code. One in five instances of MND that run in families, albeit only 2% of cases overall, are caused by these mutations.

To administer the medication directly into the spinal fluid, the procedure involves monthly lumbar punctures in which a needle is inserted between the spine’s bones.

Those receiving the medication had decreased levels of SOD1 after six months of treatment, although they had not improved physically. However, after a year, it was reducing the progression of the illness, and some patients’ symptoms got better.

After receiving his first dosage in 2016, Les stated in home films taken a year later: “I could tell, hand-on-heart, I felt better. “I entered the home alone and believed that the medicine was having an effect.”

The medicine is preventing more harm. It cannot result in the development of new motor neurons, and it may take the surviving ones a year to recover and make fresh connections with muscle tissue.

The primary investigator at Washington University, Dr. Timothy Miller, stated that it could take some time for patients to recover from the harm they have already sustained.

The stabilization of function is amazing because the majority of ALS patients have a constantly downward trajectory.