Anti-malaria drug could help combat autoimmune diseases
July 20, 2011
Researchers at the Van Andel Research Institute recently studied the possible uses of the anti-malaria drug chloroquine. The medication has long been used to treat inflammatory issues, and the scientists have set out to discover the molecular basis for the repression of inflammation.
"These results provide a mechanistic basis for therapeutic strategies for treating inflammation and autoimmune diseases and should provide exciting new approaches which can be tested in clinical trials," said Henry F. MacFarland, the former chief of the Neuroimmunology Branch of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
There are more than 80 different types of autoimmune diseases, including Crohn's disease, multiple sclerosis, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, and some forms of cancer, according to the National Institutes of Health. These diseases can have a negative impact on daily life, especially for older adults who have been diagnosed.
Until the scientists study the uses of chloroquine to treat these disorders, older individuals who have been diagnosed with these illnesses can invest in senior alert systems, which can send out medical alerts, should they be injured and otherwise unable to call for help.