A Small Molecule Approach to Provoke Growth of Synapses

This popular science article notes the progress of a small molecule treatment that provokes growth of dendritic spines in neurons, helping to restore lost synaptic connections. The company plans to treat amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients, but it is an interesting question as to whether it is would be desirable to undergo this sort of boosted formation of synapses in the broader context of aging and dysfunction of neuromuscular junctions. Since the therapy has passed an initial test of safety in volunteers, we will no doubt find out in time.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, called motor neurons, that control voluntary muscle movements like walking, talking, and breathing. As the neurons die and can't send messages to the muscles, loss of muscle control worsens over time and is eventually fatal. Spinogenix, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, has developed SPG302, a unique once-a-day pill that regenerates the gaps, called synapses, between neurons to restore communication. Following promising results from clinical trials to evaluate the drug's safety, the FDA has approved the company's Investigational New Drug (IND) application, paving the way for further trials.

SPG302's early-stage clinical trials in Australia with healthy adults demonstrated that it's well-tolerated and produces therapeutic levels that match the results seen in preclinical animal models. Spinogenix started dosing ALS patients in April 2024 and has received significant interest from people wanting to enroll in the trial.

Link: https://newatlas.com/medical/als-regenerative-pill-clinical-trials/


An alternative approach might to take a large spoonful of broccoli powder each day.

Posted by: JLH at June 11th, 2024 12:05 PM
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