Century-Old Drug Reverses Autism-like Symptoms in Fragile X Mouse Model
January 15, 2015 | Scott LaFee
Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) affect 1 to 2 percent of children in the United States. Hundreds of genetic and environmental factors have been shown to increase the risk of ASD. Researchers at UC San Diego School of Medicine previously reported that a drug used for almost a century to treat trypanosomiasis, or sleeping sickness, reversed environmental autism-like symptoms in mice.
Now, a new study published in this week’s online issue of Molecular Autism, suggests that a genetic form of autism-like symptoms in mice are also corrected with the drug, even when treatment was started in young adult mice.
The underlying mechanism, according to Robert K. Naviaux, MD, PhD, the new study’s principal investigator and professor of medicine at UC San Diego, is a phenomenon he calls the cellular danger response (CDR). When cells are exposed to danger in the form of a virus, infection, toxin, or even certain genetic mutations, they react defensively, shutting down ordinary activities and erecting barriers against the perceived threat. One consequence is that communication between cells is reduced, which the scientists say may interfere with brain development and function, leading to ASD.
Rest of the story here at http://health.ucsd.edu/news/releases/Pa ... mouse.aspx
Full study here
http://www.molecularautism.com/content/ ... 92-6-1.pdf