Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is one of the deadly and painful diseases in the world. Patients with ALS experience gradual weakening of the muscles, leading to the failure of the respiratory system. As the intelligence and consciousness of the patients are not impaired, they have serious time for several years.
Recently, Food and Drug Administration of the US approved the second drug for ALS. Its name is edaravone.
Edaravone was developed by MT Pharma America, a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation, a famous Japanese pharmaceutical company.
The New York Times: A Second Drug Is Approved to Treat A.L.S.
In the human body, edaravone is bound to free radicals. Free radicals are considered to harm the human tissue seriously. Thus, edaravone has an effect of attenuating free radicals. Edaravone is also used for patients with an acute cerebral infarction, because it is believed that free radicals have a certain role in destroying brain cells.
In a placebo-controlled clinical trial conducted in Japan, participants with ALS who took edaravone were less likely to deteriorate their physical condition for six months. As ALS is a progressive disease, stopping the progress of shrinking muscle is a desirable outcome of this new drug.
Although this result is very promising, there is still barriers to overcome the suffering from ALS. It is impossible to reverse the progressed status of the muscle in the patient with the modern medicines.
On the other hand, free radical is one of the hot topics in the region of medical science. If edaravone has really a great effect of neutralizing free radicals, it will be utilized for several other diseases.