UAlg researcher granted €22,000 to study rare neurological disease

Clévio Nóbrega, a researcher at the University of the Algarve’s Biomedical Sciences and Medicine Department, has received a €22,000 grant from the UK to study a rare neurological disease.

Spinocerebellar ataxia type 2 is a condition characterised by progressive problems with movement. People with this condition initially experience problems with coordination and balance (ataxia).

Over time, they may develop loss of sensation and weakness in the limbs, muscle wasting (atrophy), uncontrolled muscle tension and involuntary jerking movements.

The project, entitled ‘Neuroprotective therapeutic approach of Spinocerebellar ataxia type 2: pharmacological targeting of AMPK’, is being financed by Ataxia UK, a private, non-profit association that helps patients and families affected by the disease.

The goal is to test an existing drug, authorised for “human use”, and see if it can help slow the progression of the disease.

As UAlg explains in a statement, there is no cure for the disease and treatments only battle the symptoms instead of halting its development.

Nóbrega and his team will start working on the project this month.

Photo: Clévio Nóbrega (fourth from left) and his team