Talampanel passes Phase 2 clinical trials

Talampanel, a drug used to treat epilepsy symptoms, may also slow muscle weakening in ALS patients. Talampanel passed a Phase 2 clinical trial in a study conducted by researchers from Johns Hopkins and Indiana University. The report appears online in the December 4 issue of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, noting that talampanel slowed the loss of daily activities (like speaking, walking and dressing). Talampanel is an anti-anxiety and muscle-relaxing agent, a member of the benzodiazepine family, working through the brain and spinal cord. “The research demonstrates that talampanel appears able to slow the progression of disabling ALS symptoms,” says Dr. Jeffrey Rothstein of the Packard Center for ALS Research. “The effect isn’t overwhelming at the dosage of medicine used in this early, very small trial…Still, having promising human data is reason enough to keep it in the drug pipeline where we can really find out where it stands for patients.”

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