Science, Web/Tech

Of Mice and Neurofibromatosis

Neurofibromatois is a genetic disorder that manifests in children as learning difficulties but by the teenage years tumors and cafe-au-lait spots appear. The genetic disorder causes the body to produce to much Ras, a protein that plays an important role in learning. Researchers at the University of California – Los Angeles (UCLA) have been looking for a drug therapy which counter-acts the excessive RAS. As this would be a drug that suffers of Neurofibromatois would need to take everyday for life they needed the drug to be extremely safe and side-effect free.
This is no easy task but the researchers got a lucky break when one of them was on a clinical rotation in another area that was dealing withStatins, which are used to lower cholesterol. These work on Ras and the statins have already been proven to be safe over long-periods of time.
To test the statins the researchers used genetically modified mice that had neurofiibromatois. Half were given the statins and half a placebo before being trained to follow a blinking light for a food reward. Those given the statins showed a 30% improvement over a control group.
This discovery will not only have an important effect on people with neurofibromatosis but my prompt further discoveries in other learning difficulties.
See: UCLA scientists use statins to overcome learning disabilities in mice

4 Comments

  1. jolene

    My child suffer from what i call severe learning disabilities caused by neurofibromatosis and the schools always since she was 4years of age wonted to drug her with adhd meds should that be a consideration for me??? lost in az

  2. Rob Wells

    I am 45 years of age only recently finding out that nf was the cause of my problems at school if there is a need for human test subjects for any medical trails I will gladly put myself forward if it can help the future generations to come.

    Rob

  3. k

    i have Neurofibromatosis 1 and 2 and i dont have any
    learning disabilities but everyone around thinks i do im just trying to say no all suffers have learning disabilities

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