Program ID: Innovation Anthology #425
Program Date: 09/15/2011
Program Category: Health and Medicine
Ampikine: New Use To Enhance Breathing
Opiates like morphine control pain. But for some patients, the drugs can also cause their breathing to stop, so they have to be ventilated.
But the chance finding of physiologist and Alberta Heritage Scientist Dr. John Greer may change that. A drug called Ampikine initially developed to treat memory and sleep deprivation can also overcome the breathing problem.
DR JOHN GREER: I went and read about ampikines because I was working on AMPA receptors and it clicked that these ampikines would juice up the normal activity that’s going on in this critical part of the brain for breathing. So I hypothesized that, okay, if this part of the brain is being suppressed by opiates and also by anaesthetics, what if we gave the ampikine to bring it back up to a level where it keeps going? So I tried this and indeed it worked beautifully. So clinically, the importance here is that we can now be very aggressive with pain killers without worrying so much that the breathing is going to get suppressed.
Dr. Greer’s team is now collaborating with Cortex Pharmaceuticals of California to launch a large scale clinical trial for this new application of Ampikine.
Thanks today to Alberta Innovates Health Solutions
FOR INNOVATION ANTHOLOGY I’M CHERYL CROUCHER