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A new drug developed holds hope of treating the cause of motor neurone disease

Photo: New drug to treat motor neurone disease
Researchers in Melbourne have developed a drug called CuATSM that has had a major effect in slowing the progression of motor neurone disease in patients.

A new drug developed by Australian researchers holds hope of treating the cause of motor neurone disease.

The result of 15 years of work, it was tested on 32 patients in Melbourne and Sydney and showed it could slow the progression of the disease rather than just treating the symptoms.

"This is a huge breakthrough," Professor Ashley Bush, director of the Melbourne Dementia Research Centre at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, told the Herald Sun.

"This is not a symptomatic treatment. This is an attempt to put out the fire."
After six months on the drug CuATSM, the progression of the disease in patients had slowed by 70 per cent. The drug is now also being tested on patients with Parkinson's disease.

The findings, by five researchers from the Florey Institute, University of Melbourne and Bio21 Institute, were presented at the International Symposium on ALS/MND in Glasgow, Scotland.

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