13 de dez de 2009

Esperança contra a distrofia muscular


12 de dezembro de 2009

Síndrome de Steinert afeta uma em cada 8 mil pessoas

Em uma substância utilizada para o tratamento de doenças relacionadas ao sistema imunológico, como leishmaniose e pneumonia, está a esperança para vítimas da distrofia muscular mitônica, também chamada de distrofia de Steinert. O problema, genético, que afeta uma em cada 8 mil pessoas, dificulta o relaxamento dos músculos depois de uma contração, e pode afetar órgãos como coração e pulmões.

O pesquisador americano Andrew Berglund, da Universidade de Oregon, descobriu, com sua equipe, que a pentamidina é capaz de consertar o defeito no gene que provoca a doença. Em seu laboratório, o professor do Instituto de Biologia Molecular testou 26 substâncias já aprovadas pela Food and Drug Administration (FDA), o órgão de vigilância sanitária dos Estados Unidos, em ratos modificados geneticamente – de forma que desenvolvessem a distrofia. De todas, a pentamidina foi a que apresentou melhores resultados.

Segundo Berglund, embora a pentamidina seja usada para tratar pneumonia, não há correlação entre a doença e a distrofia de Steinert.

– O único link entre as duas doenças é que ambas têm como origem um componente ácido nucleico.

Ele também esclarece que a pesquisa concentrou-se apenas na distrofia mitônica, o que significa que, para outros tipos, como a síndrome de Duchenne, um possível tratamento à base de pentamidina não traria efeitos.

No comentário que fez sobre o estudo para a revista Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, onde a pesquisa foi publicada, o médico Thomas A. Cooper, do Baylor College of Medicine de Houston, comemorou: “Dezessete anos depois da identificação da mutação que causa a doença, publicações como essa nos dão a perspectiva da descoberta de terapias efetivas”.

O pesquisador da Universidade de Oregon conta que os estudos não param por aí.

– Estamos no processo de elaborar substâncias semelhantes à pentamidina, na esperança de identificar uma molécula que poderá trazer resultados melhores que ela – diz Berglund.

Embora empolgado com os resultados já obtidos, ele diz que a cura para a distrofia muscular ainda é distante.

– Apesar de a nossa pesquisa e de outras serem promissoras, acredito que ainda temos um longo caminho antes de descobrir a cura – afirma.

Saiba mais
> A síndrome de Steinert é mais frequente em jovens adultos e pode ocorrer em qualquer idade, com diferentes graus de severidade.
> Caracteriza-se principalmente por uma dificuldade no relaxamento muscular após uma contração e está associada com alterações em outros órgãos, incluindo olhos, coração, sistema endócrino, sistema nervoso central e periférico, órgãos gastrointestinais, pele e ossos.
> O paciente costuma ter dificuldade para abrir as mãos ao soltar um objeto depois de segurá-lo com firmeza. Pode também causar fraqueza muscular.
> Os portadores podem apresentar quedas de pálpebras, dificuldades para pronunciar palavras, catarata, calvície precoce e diabetes. A ordem dos músculos afetados é face, pescoço, mãos, antebraço e pés.
> Arritmias cardíacas podem levar à morte.
Fonte: Fonte: Associação Brasileira de Distrofia Muscular (Abdim)

FONTE: http://zerohora.clicrbs.com.br/zerohora/jsp/default2.jsp?uf=1&local=1&source=a2746157.xml&template=3898.dwt&edition=13707

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