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The LA419 molecule, recently discovered and patented by Laboratorios Lacer, may have protective and reparative effects on cerebrovascular diseases like stroke and Alzheimer’s, according to preliminary results of the joint study being carried out by the R&D&i department of this Catalan pharmaceutical company and a research group from the Molecular Neurobiology Department at the Cajal Institute of the Spanish Research Council (CSIC).

The aim of this research, which began one year ago, is to identify new applications for this molecule that has vasodilatory, proangiogenic (allows for the formation of blood vessels from pre-existing vessels) and antiapoptotic (curbs cell death) functions in order to prevent neurovascular pathologies and curb their effects. The researchers leading this study are Dr. Marisabel Mourelle, from Lacer, and Dr. Ricardo Martínez-Murillo, from the CSIC Cajal Institute.

Mourelle has written more than one hundred articles published in world-renowned scientific journals like Circulation, Hypertension and Gastroenterology, and is listed as the inventor on 16 patents for new chemical elements, including new analgesics and anti-diabetes products. The main research lines of Dr. Martínez-Murillo focus on the neuropathological processes of cerebral ischemia and Alzheimer’s. He has written more than one hundred articles published in world-renowned scientific journals like Neuroscience, Brain Research and Journal of Neuroscience Research, and has led more than 30 research projects.

The research carried out has led to promising expectations regarding new applications of the LA419 molecule, the efficacy of which has already been demonstrated in treating other cardiovascular diseases. In the case of stroke, administering the molecule can have preventative effects and act as a therapeutic agent in treatment. This was established by the first results of the laboratory study, which suggest that administering the molecule 15 minutes after stroke significantly reduces the volume of the vascular edema, which allows for a highly significant decrease in neurological consequences of cerebral infarction. The trials carried out show that the molecule, which has antithrombotic and anti-ischemic properties (curbing the decrease in blood flow), doesn’t change arterial pressure, making it a possible therapeutic agent for treating stroke.

Regarding Alzheimer’s, scientists are currently analyzing the potential effects of the LA419 molecule on learning capacity and memory in lab animals. Thanks to its known antioxidant properties, the molecule can trap and deactivate free radicals and other oxidizing substances that damage cell membranes and that, in the case of neurons, lead to brain ageing. The research carried out by Lacer and the Cajal Institute aims to determine the possible therapeutic uses of this product through pre-clinical trials currently underway.

WHO estimates number of strokes to rise 27% over the next 15 years

Both stroke and Alzheimer’s are serious cerebrovascular diseases that affect an important segment of the population each year. In Spain, Alzheimer’s affects between 650,000 and 800,000 people, according to data from the Alzheimer Foundation. The report presented last July at the International Conference of the Alzheimer’s Association concludes that, after cancer, this will be the disease most feared by Spaniards.

In Spain, cerebral infarction affects 130,000 people each year, of which 8,000 die or are permanently disabled, according to the National Stroke Register created by the Cerebrovascular Disease Study Group at the Spanish Society for Neurology (GEECV-SEN). According to the World Health Organization (WHO), these diseases are already the third cause of death in the West, the first cause of physical disability in adults and the second of dementia. WHO estimates show that the number of strokes suffered around the world will increase 27% over the next 15 years.

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