Mecamylamine is a drug used in the 1950's to treat high blood pressure. It has more recently been used as a treatment for symptoms associated with Tourette's Syndrome and Attention Deficit Disorder. Now, it is about to be tested by a team at Ohio State University Medical Center as a treatment for autism symptoms:
It turns out the next new treatment might be something that's been around for generations. It's a drug called mecamylamine, and it was the first pill used to treat high blodd pressure in the 1950's.*** By the time Alicia was a child, it was nearly obsolete. Now, it just might help her son, and a million more children with autism.
"If it works, it would be a really important breakthrough," says Eugene Arnold, MD, with Ohio State University Medical Center. Dr. Arnold and his team of researchers will test the drug on children with autism. He says it's not what the drug did in the 50's to help with high blood pressure that's giving them hope, but what it's done recently. Mecamylamine has been effective in helping children control the symptoms of conditions like Tourette Syndrome and Attention Deficit Disorder. He hopes it may do the same in autism.
"There is some hope that it will make a significant improvement in the core symptoms: the social impairment, the communication, the repetitive behavior, such that it will help them to faster get along the road to rehabilitation," says Dr. Arnold.