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Drug trial started that may help grow brain cells impacted by CTE

June 28, 2012

Interesting news given everything I’ve been learning about CTE.  One of the treatment issues with CTE is that it is not related specifically to the chemicals in the brain (dopamine, serotonin, etc.)  In most cases of depression and mood disorders our brain chemicals can be affected by stimulants and depressansts.  For people like my brother antidepressants had little effect… because the depression was likely exacerbated by brain damage and not purely a chemical imbalance.  This drug focuses on rebuilding brain cells and not on brain chemical regulation.

EXCERPTS:

“We are pleased to begin testing the safety of NSI-189 in depression patients,” said Karl Johe, PhD, Neuralstem’s Board of Directors and Chief Scientific Officer. “We believe it could help patients who suffer from depression via a new mechanism that does not seek to modulate brain chemistry, but rather stimulates new neuron growth in the hippocampus and increases hippocampal volume, thereby potentially addressing the problem at the source.”

In addition to ALS, the company is also targeting major central nervous system conditions with its cell therapy platform, including spinal cord injury, ischemic spastic paraplegia and chronic stroke. The company has submitted an IND (Investigational New Drug) application to the FDA for a Phase I safety trial in chronic spinal cord injury.

Neuralstem also has the ability to generate stable human neural stem cell lines suitable for the systematic screening of large chemical libraries. Through this proprietary screening technology, Neuralstem has discovered and patented compounds that may stimulate the brain’s capacity to generate new neurons, possibly reversing the pathologies of some central nervous system conditions. The company has received approval from the FDA to conduct a Phase Ib safety trial evaluating NSI-189, its first neurogenic small molecule compound, for the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD). Additional indications could include chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), Alzheimer’s disease, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

link to full article

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