Researchers studying century-old drug in potential new approach to autism

(University of California - San Diego) In a small, randomized Phase I/II clinical trial (SAT1), researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine say a 100-year-old drug called suramin, originally developed to treat African sleeping sickness, was safely administered to children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), who subsequently displayed measurable, but transient, improvement in core symptoms of autism.
Source: EurekAlert! - Medicine and Health - Category: International Medicine & Public Health Source Type: news

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In Autism Awareness Month, we take a look at varied studies whose findings point to potential biomarkers for the disorder. (read more)
Source: Environmental Factor - NIEHS Newsletter - Category: Environmental Health Source Type: news
Publication date: 31 March 2020Source: Cell Reports, Volume 30, Issue 13Author(s): Sneha Shah, Gemma Molinaro, Botao Liu, Ruijia Wang, Kimberly M. Huber, Joel D. Richter
Source: Cell Reports - Category: Cytology Source Type: research
Conclusion: Feeding difficulties develop significantly more rapidly in children with ASD, with longitudinal monitoring revealing the steeper trajectory earlier than can be detected with cross-sectional analysis. Children with ASD are at risk of health and social consequences of poor feeding behavior that may potentially be minimized if addressed early and appropriately.
Source: Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics - Category: Child Development Tags: Original Article Source Type: research
This study aims to fill gaps in the literature by describing developmental and behavioral phenotypes in this group relative to those with DS or ASD in isolation. Methods: Participants included 173 children (Mage = 73 months) with ASD, DS, or DS + ASD. Two 3 × 2 repeated-measures analyses of variance were completed with between-subject factors of the diagnostic group (DS, ASD, and DS + ASD) and within-subject factors of cognitive performance (verbal and nonverbal developmental quotient [DQ]) or ASD symptoms (social affect [SA] and restricted and repetitive behaviors [RRBs]). Results: Significant group-by-scale i...
Source: Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics - Category: Child Development Tags: Original Article Source Type: research
CASE: Carl is a 12-year-old boy midline, with neurologic malformation, ataxia, bilateral strabismus with presumed residual visual impairment after surgical repair, and intellectual disability. He was referred to developmental-behavioral pediatrics for evaluation of possible autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Carl had a benign prenatal course and was born via spontaneous vaginal delivery at term. Bilateral strabismus was noted at birth. Despite surgery to address strabismus, Carl continues to be unable to raise his eyes above midline, and his visual status, including visual acuity, depth perception, color perception, and vi...
Source: Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics - Category: Child Development Tags: Challenging Case Source Type: research
No abstract available
Source: Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics - Category: Child Development Tags: Book Review Source Type: research
Alan Towers wrote an instructive, poignant comment about the difficulty that he had understanding that his schizophrenic son could not be EXPECTED to “make sense”, if sense was defined by the standards that applied for Alan, or for the wider society. Because so many people who live with psychotic illness or substantial neurological impairment require that their affected loved ones operate by THEIR rules and THEIR logical constructs and world view, they often abandon their children, relatives and friends as uncorrectible and irrecoverable, as lost souls. I’ve had a conversation about this subject with a nu...
Source: On the Brain by Dr. Michael Merzenich, Ph.D. - Category: Neuroscience Authors: Tags: Aging and the Brain Alzheimer’s Autism Origins, Treatments Brain Fitness BrainHQ Cognitive Impairment in Children Cognitive impairments Posit Science Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder, et alia Source Type: blogs
Neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs), including global developmental delay (GDD), intellectual disability (ID), and autism spectrum disorder (ASD), represent a continuum of developmental brain dysfunction. Although the etiology of NDD is heterogeneous, genetic variation represents the largest contribution, strongly supporting the recommendation for genetic evaluation in individuals with GDD/ID and ASD. Technological advances now allow for a specific genetic diagnosis to be identified in a substantial portion of affected individuals. This information has important ramifications for treatment, prognosis, and recurrence risk, ...
Source: Cold Spring Harbor perspectives in medicine - Category: Research Authors: Tags: Genetic Counseling: Clinical Practice and Ethical Considerations PERSPECTIVES Source Type: research
Casarosa Bozzi Impaired function of GABAergic interneurons, and the subsequent alteration of excitation/inhibition balance, is thought to contribute to autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Altered numbers of GABAergic interneurons and reduced expression of GABA receptors has been detected in the brain of ASD subjects and mouse models of ASD. We previously showed a reduced expression of GABAergic interneuron markers parvalbumin (PV) and somatostatin (SST) in the forebrain of adult mice lacking the Engrailed2 gene (En2-/- mice). Here, we extended this analysis to postnatal day (P) 30 by using in situ hybridization, immu...
Source: Genes - Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Authors: Tags: Article Source Type: research
Dysregulation of early neurodevelopment is implicated in macrocephaly/autism disorders. However, the mechanism underlying this dysregulation, particularly in human cells, remains poorly understood. Mutations in the small GTPase gene RAB39b are associated with X-linked macrocephaly, autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and intellectual disability. The in vivo roles of RAB39b in the brain remain unknown. We generated Rab39b knockout (KO) mice and found that they exhibited cortical neurogenesis impairment, macrocephaly, and hallmark ASD behaviors, which resembled patient phenotypes. We also produced mutant human cerebral organoids...
Source: Genes and Development - Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Authors: Tags: Research Papers Source Type: research
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