Thanks to the famous “Ice Bucket Challenge,” Montreal researchers will test a new drug against amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). It is a molecule currently used against schizophrenia, which would be used at doses four to five times lower.
This drug, pimozide, decreases the impact of ALS on muscle mobility and control on tests on animal model, according to JCI Insight magazine by CHUM researchers who worked with colleagues in France and elsewhere in Canada.
ALS affects one in 1,000 people, and in Quebec between 150 and 200 new cases are reported each year. It is usually fatal within five years of diagnosis.
CHUM researchers launched a clinical trial of 100 patients earlier this year to verify that low doses of pimozide improve the quality of life of patients with ALS. As pimozide is already approved as a drug, it should be available for ALS in only a few years if the results of this clinical trial are conclusive.