A world renowned medical research project has moved out of Washington D.C. to settle down in Amarillo. Bringing the headquarters to Amarillo will bring worldwide acclaim to our area.
"If it doesn't do anything else it raises the international profile of Amarillo, Texas. There are investigators across Europe who now know where Amarillo is and who know Texas Tech is here," says Doctor Margaret Weis, an associate professor at the Texas Tech School of Pharmacy.
Doctor Weis is the reason the project came to the panhandle, because she is the President of The Myelin Project. The Amarillo branch will focus on soliciting money to fund the research. This digital picture shows what researchers are trying to find a way to re-myelinate cells that have been stripped. When someone has ALD or Adrenoleukodystrophy the fat that insulates their nerves breaks down. It's like if this microphone wire lost it's insulation, it would short out. In the body, the process happens quickly.
"Within 18 months a child can go from being a healthy little boy to someone who is completely bedridden and helpless, unable to speak, to move or communicate in any way, it's a terrifying descent," says Dr. Weis.
You may remember the 1992 movie 'Lorenzo's Oil'. It's based on the true story of the Odone family who discovered their son Lorenzo suffers from ALD. In time they develop Lorenzo's Oil, which is given to ALD patients today, and been proven to save lives, like Lorenzo's.
"Lorenzo will be 29 years old next month, statistically he should've been dead 21 years ago," says Dr. Weis.