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Vertigo drug brings hope for rare neuron disorder, Niemann-Pick

Tatiana Bremova-Ertl’s graduate adviser was studying a 1950s-era French vertigo drug for its effects on balance disorders when she thought of patients with Niemann-Pick Type C (NPC), a rare genetic disease. This condition can be fatal in early childhood or milder if appearing later, but it always leads to cognitive decline, speech and swallowing issues, liver enlargement, low muscle tone, and difficulty with balance and muscle control. A group of researchers and parents were working on developing medicines for NPC, but little had worked so far. Bremova-Ertl, a graduate student and medical resident in Munich, often saw patients with this disease.

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