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Scientists Work on New Nerve Agent Treatment

April 8, 2011 Comments off

gsn.nti.org

Researchers in Ohio are developing a new treatment that would counteract the effects of exposure to deadly organophosphorus nerve agents, according to a Tuesday release from Ohio State University (see GSN, July 25, 2007).

Nerve agents can cause uncontrollable muscle spasms and other physical effects that can prove lethal in a matter of minutes.

Existing treatments counteract the material by inserting oxime compounds that adhere to the nerve agent’s phosphorous atoms and block their effects on a key enzyme from which constant activation messages would otherwise produce the spasms through transmission to muscles, organs and glands in the body. Complete recovery from exposure, though, is not always guaranteed as some nerve agent molecules can be remain attached to enzymes.

Ohio State chemistry professor Christopher Hadad and a team of scientists are using the Ohio Supercomputer Center in studying potential compounds that would allow the body to Read more…