L-Tryptophan: Bringing Hope To Multiple Sclerosis Sufferers

 Many of us would have heard of L-Tryptophan, the amino acid present in turkey which is (falsely) blamed for the notorious post-thanksgiving-dinner drowsiness; however, now this amino acid has stepped into the limelight. Recent research has found the amino acid to be linked to the functioning of the immune system and it is currently being used in trials for multiple sclerosis treatments. The research that has led to these discoveries has been undertaken by a renowned professor of neurological sciences, Steinman, MD and his team. Steinman is one of the top experts in the functioning of the human brain and nervous system and related diseases and is also chair of the immunology program. His focus usually lies on technologically-advanced, genetic treatments; so work on the effects of an amino acid was an unusual project for him to have taken on. In fact, Steinman only considered this project because Michael Platten, MD, PhD, a leading postdoctoral researcher in the field of this amino acid, approached Steinman with the suggestion of trying tranilast in his multiple sclerosis studies. Tranilast is an anti-allergic medication that is a derivative of the...
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