(Crete, Greece) – Researchers at the University of Crete Medical School of Pharmacology are looking to give hope to people who are suffering from neurodegenerative diseases such as ALS, Alzheimer’s, and multiple sclerosis. Professor Achilleas Gravanis, who was in charge of the research team, recently announced the team’s intention to study these diseases and the findings could help patients suffering from them. Neurodegenerative diseases are those diseases that lead to a loss of the both the structure and function of neurons in the brain, including the death of these neurons. Diseases like ALS, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis all fall into this category of diseases.
The research is taking place at the University of Crete School of medicine and the Foundation for Research and Technology Hellas (FORTH), which is located in Heraklion. Gravanis is currently working at the National Hellenic Research Foundation and the Molecular Biology and Biotechnology. He is also a Professor of Pharmacology at the University of Crete. He earned his Diploma of Pharmacy, from the School of Pharmacy at the University of Athens and his PhD n Pharmacology at the University Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris, France. He has devoted his career to teaching students as well as performing ground-breaking research such as this.
His initial research concerning the testing of a synthetic microneurotrophin BMN27 on mice was published in the Journal of Neuropharmacology (Pediaditakis et al, 2016) in September of 2016. Gravanis has said that neurotrophins that occur naturally are large molecules that play an important role in the development of brain matter from birth and well into old age. Since these neurotrophins are so large, however, this has prevented them from being used as a medication due to the way they were made.
He said that, “Our effort is focused on many small synthetic molecules that we call microneurotrophins that are smaller in size and, due to being quite lipophilic, are able to cross the blood brain barrier and effectively mimic the neuroprotective and neuroregenerative properties of the endogenous large molecule neurotrophins. One of the substances we have synthesised is microneurotrophin BMN27.” The research will focus on solving this problem.