Winning laurels

A new method for discovering important chemicals that could damage the nervous system gains a US patent for its inventors

Published: Tuesday 15 April 1997


A team of researchers, including C R Santoshkumar, consultant haematologist at the Regional Cancer Centre, Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala), has been recently awarded a us patent for inventing a method for the determination of oxidised sulfuhydrl amino acids (osaa) in biological fluids like serum and cerebrospinal fluid. The other members of the team are us researchers J Fred Kolhouse and John C Deutsch from the University of Colorado, Denver.

The invention is of significance as past methods of detection of these compounds have not been accurate. The method could prove useful in the diagnosis of certain neuropsychiatric disorders and cardiovascular disorders and also in cancer-related work, said Santosh Kumar. Altered levels of OSAAs causes damage to nmda (n-methyl-d-aspartate) receptors in the nervous system.An increase in transmission in these receptors leads to a phenomenon called excitotoxicity, which ultimately causes neuronal degeneration and death. Therefore, an accurate measurement of these amino acids with the help of the new method can give a boost to the diagnosis and treatment of neuro-psychiatrically affected individuals.

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