A new research programme investigating the possibilities for treating neurological, inflammatory and degenerative muscle diseases has been launched. The programme will involve researchers from the University of Szeged and from the Biological Research Centre, Hungarian Academy of Science, Szeged.
At the moment, the most common public health issues include neurodegenerative diseases, inflammatory diseases of the digestive tract and cardiovascular diseases. The processes leading to these problems are still not completely known; therapy options are scarce and the available medication usually just alleviate the symptoms of these diseases.
Prof. Dr. László Vécsei, lead investigator of the project says that “The processes involved in the degeneration of the nervous system may differ with each disease but there might be common underlying mechanisms.
The goal of this four-year project is to investigate the role of kynurenines in the function of the nervous system, the immune system and the muscular system. Kynurenines are compounds found in the human body, produced during the degradation of an essential amino acid, tryptophan. Kynurenines take part in the functioning of the immune system and also have an important role in neurodegenerative disorders. Long-term research plans include the development of molecules that allows the manipulation of these systems through kynurenines, and thus opening new therapeutic possibilities.
Prof. Vécsei emphasized that the programme aims to train and equip the next generation of future researchers as well as seeking patent-eligible scientific results and publishing scientific publications. The programme will help keep talented young researchers in Hungary by providing an opportunity to carry out valuable research and to earn a doctoral degree.