This is looking good! Apparently these mice that “get” ALS usually die within a couple weeks with no treatment, a month or two with other treatments attempted so far, but with this, they’re living close to their natural life spans.
So what does this drug do exactly? First we have to understand the micropathophysiology.
According to the article, their is a mutant gene that creates faulty superoxide demutase– an antioxidant which is necessary to sustain human life. These antioxidants work best with a little copper. Without the copper, these antioxidants become toxic and kill motor neurons, leading to ALS. Or that’s the way they think it goes.
This new treatment is a blood-brain barrier soluable carrier of a low toxic copper which targets cells with mitochondria damaged by the beginning stages of the toxicity caused by the misfiring antioxidant.
The researchers emphasize that taking a plain copper supplement won’t help as it is not blood-brain barrier soluable and toxic even in small doses. Besides that, these are mice we’re talking about here. No human trials have occurred yet, but they are doing their best to get those underway as soon as possible. They also draw attention to the fact that this drug has thus far only halted the progression of the disease; it has not reversed the damage already done by the toxicity. But hey, that would be a good start!
Just wanted to give a shout out to the little mouse guys that have participated in finding this wonderful news!