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Soya Beans Could Hold Clue to Treating Fatal Childhood Disease

Date: 7.12.2010 


Scientists from The University of Manchester say a naturally occurring chemical found in soy could prove to be an effective new treatment for a fatal genetic disease that affects children.

Dr Brian Bigger found that genistein -- derived from soya beans and licensed in the US as an osteoporosis drug -- had a dramatic effect on mice suffering from the human childhood disease Sanfilippo.

Children with Sanfilippo disease experience progressive deterioration of mental function, similar to dementia, in early childhood, with other symptoms including severe behavioural problems, hyperactivity and ultimately death in early teens."

In the study mice with Sanfilippo disease were fed with high doses of genistein over a nine-month period. Treated mice showed a significant delay in their mental decline, including a third reduction in the amount of excess sugars found in the brain as a result of the disease, and a sixth reduction in inflammation in the brain.

Original Paper:

Marcelina Malinowska, Fiona L. Wilkinson, Kia J. Langford-Smith, Alex Langford-Smith, Jillian R. Brown, Brett E. Crawford, Marie T. Vanier, Grzegorz Grynkiewicz, Rob F. Wynn, J. Ed Wraith, Grzegorz Wegrzyn, Brian W. Bigger, Maria A. Deli. Genistein Improves Neuropathology and Corrects Behaviour in a Mouse Model of Neurodegenerative Metabolic Disease. PLoS ONE, 2010; 5 (12): e14192 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0014192







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