Doctors in West Australia have carried out groundbreaking research which resulted in curing mice of Floppy Baby Syndrome.
The team of experts hope the discovery will lead to a cure for human babies with the disease which currently effects thousands of families across the globe.
Working with mice who had the recessive form of the genetic condition, the doctors replaced the missing skeletal muscle actin – a vital protein which allows muscles to contract – with similar actin found in the heart.
“The mice with Floppy Baby Syndrome were only expected to live for about nine days, but we managed to cure them so they were born with normal muscle function, allowing them to live naturally and very actively into old age,” said Dr Kristen Nowak who led the study.
“This is an important step towards one day hopefully being able to better the lives of human patients – mice who were cured of the disease lived more than two years, which is very old age for a mouse.”
The majority of babies born with the rare Floppy Baby Syndrome – also known as hypotonia – do not survive for longer than a year.