New research: Could Terazosin help people with motor neuron disease?

Image of a section of spinal cord under microscope

Aug 2022:  New research indicates that the drug Terazosin shows promise as a potential new therapy for MND.

Euan MacDonald Centre researchers Dr Helena Chaytow and Prof Tom Gillingwater, with partners at the University of Oxford, have targeted the energy production of motor neurons as a potential therapeutic strategy for treating MND.

Using zebrafish, mice and mouse stem cell models, the team showed that the drug terazosin protects against the death of motor neurons by increasing their energy production. Terazosin, a drug typically used to treat enlarged prostate and high blood pressure, has previously been shown to be effective at increasing energy production in models of stroke and Parkinson’s disease.

The Oxford team is now starting a feasibility study into the drug’s effect in people with MND. Fifty people with MND from the Oxford MND Care and Research Centre are being invited to participate in a feasibility study, which will examine the impact of terazosin on key indicators of disease progression.

Our work shows that terazosin is protective of motor neuron cell death in multiple models of MND, making it an exciting new potential therapy. The benefit of working with terazosin is that it is already prescribed for a different health condition, so we know that it is safe for humans and could quickly move to the clinic.

Dr Helena ChaytowSenior postdoctoral researcher at the University of Edinburgh and member of the Euan MacDonald Centre, first author of the study

The new research has been published in the scientific journal eBioMedicine. It was funded by MND Scotland and the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation.

Related links

Read the scientific article in eBioMedicine: Chaytow et al, Targeting phosphoglycerate kinase 1 with terazosin improves motor neuron phenotypes in multiple models of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. DOI: 10.1016/j.ebiom.2022.104202

Tom Gillingwater's profile

Helena Chaytow's profile (University of Edinburgh website)

Professor Kevin Talbot's profile (University of Oxford website)


This article was published on: Thursday, August 11, 2022