Gangliosides are normal constituent of mammalian vertebrate cell membranes and are particularly abundant in the central and peripheral nervous systems. The biological effects of exogenously administered gangliosides have been extensively investigated in vitro and in experimental animal models where they have neuronotrophic and neuritogenic properties. Despite these findings there is still little evidence that treatment with parenteral gangliosides in humans can be effective in peripheral neuropathies or other neuromuscular diseases. The initial preliminary reports on the positive effects of GM1 in cerebrovascular diseases and spinal cord injury need to be confirmed in larger controlled trials. At the same time the occasional development of an acute motor neuropathy clinically presenting as the Guillain-Barré syndrome and associated with high titres of anti-ganglioside antibodies highlights the risks of their widespread use before more consistent data on their efficacy become available.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis