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Mar 16, 2008
The case for “brain-glutamate transporters” and buying more time for today’s PALS.

We already know that there is a large school of thought that supports that glutamate plays a role in ALS and therefore Relutek is in it self the greatest proof to that.

The use of Relutek in ALS is also in itself enough to support further research into “brain-glutamate transporters / scavenging“principals. It therefore supports the worthiness of our attention to “Brain-glutamate transporters / scavenging” research.

By the sheer fact that science supports the use of Relutek in ALS, it is acknowledging that there is sufficient data to support that access glutamate in the brain is possibly the major problem in ALS.
Today there is little doubt in the scientific community that glutamate excitotoxicity is the problem or at least one of the main problems. They do not know how and why but they are fairly sure it is the glutamate.
The bottom line is that no matter how and why, they do however believe that resolving the excitotoxicity is the way to go.

We also know that all our body cells require glutamate to survive and we know how essential glutamate is for our whole body.
Unfortunately Relutek does not particularly target glutamate just in the brain.
Relutek is a drug which is designed to inhibit the glutamate release in your body, NOT targeting just the brain.

“The theoretical basis for Riluzole / Relutek was glutamate antagonism (Rothstein et al)”.

We accept Relutek as a drug for treating ALS, and why not, many of us have seen it work well including our own moderator Al who already said here that he is “on it for 5 years and still alive”, good on you Al. We are also on it here, and in our case together with Lithium it seems to work better on matters of the bulbar.

Like Al, there are many PALS who know it is helping and this in itself further supports the case for “Glutamate transporters / scavenging”.

Most PALS know from their own experiences that unfortunately even Relutek has limited effect on dramatically improving ALS symptoms, but if nothing else we do see enough to make us think or believe that Glutamate is involved. This is simply because if Relutek works it follows that Glutamate is involved.

However, we can not consume too much of Relutek for the risk that it would cause damage to the workings of other cells in our body.

It follows that no one could deny that instead of inhibiting glutamate production throughout our body, it would be nicer and smarter to limit the level of glutamate just in the brain i.e. where the damage is taking place.

How good would it be if only this was possible, you may ask?
Well it is possible and the science is here.
To do this we must employ the science of “Glutamate transporters”.
The key words here are, “we must employ”.

We who are realistic understand that the cure for ALS is NOT on our door stop.
However, I say stop waiting and wasting time waiting for the cure of the future and start steering some funds towards areas that will help current sufferers today.
Do something to buy us more time today, while the research for the cure is run in parallel.

“Brain Glutamate transporters / scavenging” research is about buying you time.

If this research happens to gives us more than that, then so be it. But for now, for today, we want more time.
If not to holt ALS progression then at least slow its progression.

Do the research that may just be what will give you more time, and thus give yourself the chance to still be around and benefit from the cure when it does finally come.

One suggested way and a scientific school of thought on how to buy ALS sufferers more time, while waiting for a cure to be developed, is by protecting neurons from excitotoxicity .

This scientific school of thought suggests doing this by increasing the number of glutamate transporters, which have a key role in clearing glutamate from the brain.

Here is more scientific proof, See ;
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