Dani­her fights to find cure

Sunday Tasmanian - - News - AARON LANGMIAD

FOOTY leg­end Neale Dani­her will do­nate his own skin tis­sue in a world-first fight to find a cure for MND.

The tire­less cam­paigner is hop­ing to rally other peo­ple grap­pling with the dis­ease to do the same as med­i­cal re­searchers race against time to iden­tify the best drugs for the job.

Dani­her will go un­der the knife on Tues­day along­side fel­low FightMND sup­porter Cath Baker.

“It will be barely a footy scratch,’’ Dani­her said.

“But it will help us ac­cel­er­ate our aim to find an ef­fec­tive treat­ment and cure.

“This of­fers hope that an ef­fec­tive treat­ment and cure is not far away but we are in­debted to pa­tients to do­nate.’’

Dani­her’s cells will be “re­pro­grammed’’ in the lab­o­ra­tory and stripped back into stem cells, which can then be de­vel­oped into mo­tor neu­rons.

Drugs al­ready ap­proved for use on hu­mans will be tested on the cells us­ing a high-speed ro­bot ca­pa­ble of max­imis­ing the numbers of cells and drugs that can be screened at a time.

It in­creases the test­ing rate by 160 times — in­creas­ing po­ten­tial to save and pro­long lives. The equip­ment is able to work out which drugs have a pos­i­tive im­pact on the MNDaf­fected mo­tor neu­rons, by robot­i­cally ap­ply­ing com­pounds to cell sam­ples, record­ing the im­pact on the health of each of 384 cell sam­ples si­mul­ta­ne­ously and doc­u­ment­ing re­sults for as­sess­ment by re­searchers. The pro­gram is a world-first for MND and re­in­forces Aus­tralia as a leader in MND re­search.


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