Dr Zhaobing Gao, lead author from the Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Sciences, said: “In our study we have begun to unravel the biological mechanism which causes organophosphate-induced delayed neuropathy. Using our expertise in drug discovery we were also able to screen a Federal Drugs Administration approved drug library of around 2,000 drugs and identify two potent drugs, duloxetine and ketotifen, which alleviated the signs of neuropathy in an animal model.”

Dr Gao added: “Our study provides compelling evidence that TRPA1 mediates OP-induced neuropathy and that TRPA1 can be targeted effectively with existing drugs that are approved by the Federal Drugs Administration. Further research will need to be conducted to assess the applicability of our findings to humans.

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