Thursday, January 01, 2009

Autism Treatment Drugs May Be On Your Local Pharmacy Shelves Right Now

The drugs to provide effective autism treatment may be sitting on the shelves of your local pharmacy right now. Linda Restifo is a University of Arizona professor of neurobiology and neurology and a researcher with the Arizona Research Laboratories. She is interviewed by Evan Pellegrino of Scripps Howard News Service and the interview is reported on about her research on fruit flies. That research which may not sit well with Alaska Governor Sarah Palin but is done because of the similarities between some segments of fruit fly brains and human brains. As reported on, Professor Restifo is currently conducting tests which she hopes may disclose existing drugs which could help treat autism:

"Restifo takes single mutated brain neurons from a fruit fly and tries to figure out what's wrong with them and, more importantly, what can be done to correct it.

And Restifo thinks there may be a drug to improve brain function in people with autism that's already been discovered and is waiting in the pharmacy.

She tests drugs that already have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for a purpose other than improving brain function to see whether they also may correct mutated or curly neurons.

"It's entirely possible drugs to treat autism are already out there," she said.

And it's much faster to conduct research with drugs that already have been approved because they've already been proved safe, she said.

I don't know if Restifo's research will, or will not, discover any existing drugs that might treat autism but I admire her focus on treatment for autism and her can do attitude. The USA has long been a leader in real research to benefit persons with autism and it looks like that trend will continue with efforts like Professor Restifo's.

Once again, God Bless America.

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