A synthetic, anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic family of drugs to combat a variety of illnesses while avoiding harmful side effects has been developed by Hebrew University Medical Faculty heart researcher Prof. Saul Yedgar of the Institute for Medical Research Israel-Canada.
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Inflammatory and allergic diseases affect billions of people around the world, and treatments for them are a major focus of the pharmaceutical industry.
The most common drugs currently used to treat these numerous diseases are steroids, which are potent but associated with severe side effects. These include metabolic changes (weight gain, increased blood pressure and type II diabetes), organ-specific effects (glaucoma, cataracts and thin bones) and even psychotrophic side effects (depression and psychosis).
For decades, alternatives, such as biological non-steroidal alternative anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have been the focus of the drug industry. The resulting drugs have been commercially successful, but have not produced genuine alternatives to steroids due to their limitations. Synthetic NSAIDs are less potent and have their own serious side effects, including cardiovascular disorders, stomach bleeding and respiratory disorders. The biological drugs are costly and must be injected; they also have rare but very severe side effects.
Inflammatory/allergic diseases present different symptoms affecting different organs, such as skin inflammations (dermatitis and psoriasis); airway injury and allergy (asthma, cystic fibrosis and allergic rhinitis); osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis; intestinal inflammation (ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease); central nervous system inflammation (multiple sclerosis), as well as atherosclerosis and cancer metastasis.