Study suggests epilepsy drug can be used to treat form of dwarfism

The lab tests had exciting results, scientists say. Credit: ITV News

A drug used to treat conditions such as epilepsy has been shown in lab tests to significantly improve bone growth impaired by a form of dwarfism.

The research team, which includes scientists at Newcastle University, discovered in lab and mouse studies that the drug carbamazepine, already approved for treating conditions such as epilepsy and bi-polar disease, can significantly reduce the effects of MCDS - a genetic condition which affects bone growth.

MCDS leads to skeletal dysplasia, commonly referred to as dwarfism, where patients are often short in stature with unusual limb proportions.

There is no current treatment.

Newcastle University said that human trials will take place by the end of the year

Human trials will be the next step. Credit: ITV News

The team which has made the breakthrough are from Newcastle University’s Institute of Genetic Medicine, The University of Manchester and Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Australia.

Their findings have been published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Scientists at Newcastle University worked with counterparts in Manchester. Credit: ITV News