A message from the PFS Foundation sent today:
Nov. 9, 2019
Thank you, gracias, merci, 谢谢, danke, obrigado, धन्यवाद, takk skal du ha, cпасибо…
On behalf of thousands upon thousands of PFS patients and their loved ones the world over, we can’t show enough appreciation for your continued financial support
Because for more than two years now those funds have made groundbreaking research possible at the University of Milano—research aimed at determining the root causes of PFS while hopefully setting the stage for the development of effective therapies.
In July 2017, Prof. Roberto Cosimo Melcangi , Ph.D. and his UniMi team published Phase I of their research, a paper in The Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology titled Neuroactive steroid levels and psychiatric and andrological features in post-finasteride patients.
According to that study, PFS patients suffer from altered levels of critical brain-function regulators, including neuroactive steroids. The research also uncovered evidence of neuropathy of the pudendal nerve among those with severe erectile dysfunction.
Nineteen months later, this time in partnership with Cajal Institute and Carlos III Health Institute, both in Madrid, Team Melcangi published Phase II of its research, a paper in Psychoneuroendocrinology titled Treatment of male rats with finasteride, an inhibitor of 5alpha-reductase enzyme, induces long-lasting effects on depressive-like behavior, hippocampal neurogenesis, neuroinflammation and gut microbiota composition.
“Finasteride treatment causes several alterations in the hippocampus,” the section of the brain responsible for processing long-term memory and emotional responses, the study demonstrated.
It also showed evidence of (i) long-term depressive-like behavior, (ii) alterations in neurogenesis, gliosis and increased levels of inflammatory cytokines in the hippocampus, and (iii) alterations in the composition of gut microbiota that was present one month after withdrawal of subchronic treatment of young male rats with finasteride.
And in July of this year, the team published Phase III, designed to “study whether epigenetic modifications occur in PFS patients,” and which successfully demonstrated epigenetic modifications in PFS patients.
Titled Altered methylation pattern of the SRD5A2 gene in cerebrospinal fluid of post-finasteride patients, the pilot study appeared in Endocrine Connections. Its most notable finding: “The SRD5A2 promoter was more frequently methylated in the CSF of PFS patients compared to controls (56.3 versus 7.7%).” As Melcangi explained, methylation of the SRD5A2 promoter could cause some of the persistent side effects in PFS patients.
Now, Team Melcangi is planning Phase IV of its research. The proposed study springs from recent discoveries involving finasteride’s apparent ability to interfere with neurotransmitter signaling on a deeper level than previously theorized, which may in turn adversely impact sexual function and/or brain function.
Hence Phase IV, in the team’s first-ever effort to identify a pharmacological therapy for PFS, will seek to (a) confirm such interference and (b) observe it in an animal model.
Our funding drive for this latest phase officially gets under way Dec. 1, but we want to jump-start it immediately. Because this time the goal is $160,000, which we hope to raise by March 1.
So as the holiday season gets into full swing, please give generously to help keep Team Melcangi’s momentum going strong in 2020.
Anyone living in the US who suffers from PFS should report his symptoms to the US Food and Drug Administration. Anyone living outside the US who suffers from PFS should report his symptoms to the US Food and Drug Administration as well as to his national drug-regulatory agency, as directed on our Report Your Side Effects page.
Finally, if you or a loved one are suffering from PFS, and feeling depressed or unstable, please don’t hesitate to contact the PFS Foundation as soon as possible via our Patient Support hotline: firstname.lastname@example.org