DMRF-Funded Discoveries Clarify Drug Mechanism of Action and Neurocircuitry Underlying Dystonia
Several recent publications describe exciting discoveries made by a research team in Germany led by DMRF-funded investigator Professor Angelika Richter, DVM, Director of Institute of Pharmacology, Pharmacy and Toxicology at the University of Leipzig. Professor Richter and her collaborators have explored new GABA drug candidates in the dystonic hamster model. Novel drug candidates were provided by BioCrea GmbH and Merz Pharmaceuticals. Although the drugs did not work as expected, the research team may have discovered an unknown mechanism of action of these drugs. It appears they act through very precise interactions with specific subunits of GABA receptors. Professor Richter and her team have also developed a new motor-behavioral test in DYT1 mice created by William Dauer, MD—also with DMRF funding—that demonstrates sensorimotor abnormalities in these mice. These findings represent important progress in drug candidate exploration and in defining neurocircuitry and molecular mechanisms underlying dystonia.
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