Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Today There Is Hope For Targeted Autism Treatments

Today's exciting news of Fragile X and autism symptom reversal in mice holds out hope for specific targeted treatment for entire autism spectrum according to medical experts interviewed by TIME in A Fix for One Type of Autism :

What was especially remarkable was the number of ways the intervention reversed Fragile X symptoms. The specially bred mice had fewer seizures, more normal brain structure, a more typical rate of body growth and they performed better on a learning task than mice with uncorrected Fragile X. The experiment suggests that treating Fragile X with a drug that inhibits mGR5 receptors could have similarly healing effects.

"This gives the whole field of autism a lot of hope for targeted treatments that can be beneficial," says Dr. Randi Hagerman, medical director of the MIND Institute and director of the Fragile X Research and Treatment Center at the University of California, Davis. "It's likely that the mGR5 pathway may be involved in other kinds of autism," she says. That means that a drug that works on this pathway could have broad application in treating autism.

TIME also reports that drugs that block the mGR5 receptor already exist and researchers are wasting no time setting up human clinical trials. Most parents whose children have been diagnosed for several years are disciplined by expert advice and ... disappointment and few are unlikely to get too wound up over today's news but it seems like one of the most promising breakthroughs to date for families seeking to treat and cure their autistic children.

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