An American doctor flew to London this week to assess whether an 11-month old baby with a rare condition can be saved by an experimental medical treatment. Baby Charlie Gard has mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome.
Gard has been at the center of a legal battle after his parents refused to turn off his life support when doctors said no more could be done for him.
Columbia University neuroscientist Michio Hirano says nucleoside bypass therapy has a 10 percent chance of improving Charlie’s condition.
Mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome is caused by a gene mutation that prevents mitochondria from replacing damaged DNA. Nucleosides turn into nucleotides in the body, providing the missing components of DNA. Nucleoside bypass therapy provides the nucleosides needed to improve mitochondrial DNA.
The treatment has been tested on mice, but only 18 human patients have tried it. All of those patients had a mutation in a different gene than Charlie does, so no one knows for sure if the treatment will work.
Baby Charlie remains on life support as the legal wrangling continues.
1. Depiction of gene with mutation
2. Depiction of nucleosides and nucleotides; nucleotides complete DNA in mitochondria
3. Therapy tested on mice and 18 people
VOICEOVER (in English):
“Mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome is caused by a gene mutation that prevents mitochondria from replacing damaged DNA.”
“Nucleosides turn into nucleotides in the body, providing the missing components of DNA.”
“Nucleoside bypass therapy provides the nucleosides needed to improve mitochondrial DNA.”
“The treatment has been tested on mice, but only 18 human patients have tried it.”
SOURCES: Stat, ABC News, Independent
For story suggestions please contact [email protected]
For technical and editorial support, please contact:
Asia: +61 2 93 73 1841
Europe: +44 20 7542 7599
Americas and Latam: +1 800 738 8377
Next Animation Studio’s News Direct service provides daily, high-quality, informative 3D news animations that fill in for missing footage and help viewers understand breaking news stories or in-depth features on science, technology, and health.
Sign up for a free trial of News Direct’s news animations at http://newsdirect.nextanimationstudio.com/trial/
To subscribe to News Direct or for more info, please visit: