Niemann-Pick type C (NPC) is a heartbreaking disease that effects small children and in most cases does not let them see birthdays past the teen years. NPC, or “Childhood Alzheimer’s” is genetic but babies appear perfectly normal until the child enters school where learning and functional problems begin and persist until the degeneration ultimately leads to death. Preliminary studies of the disease, which causes a malfunction in how cholesterol is processed in the bodies lysosomes (a cell’s waste remover), showed promise using a compound known as¬†cyclodextrin.

Cyclodextrin, commonly found in odor removing product FeBreze, was shown to remove cholesterol during cell culture. Researchers injected the compound into the fluid around the brain of cats, who also suffer from the disease, and found the results “astonishing”. Kittens who should not have lived past 6 months are now 3 years old and have even had litters. Human clinical trials began last year due to the promising results from the cat studies.

One health, one medicine, giving children, cats and even dogs hope for better treatments. Click below to read more on the mouse to cat to human progression of this amazing science.

http://www.upenn.edu/pennnews/current/2015-03-19/features/veterinary-research-lays-groundwork-save-children%E2%80%99s-lives

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