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Experimental Cancer Drugs Might Reverse Autism

By jeremyc | June 25, 2018

New research might have discovered a new treatment for autism that occurs because of chromosomal defects. In this research, the scientists tested experimental cancer drugs on mice with this type of autism. The researchers noted that the drugs were able to reverse autism in mice.

It is estimated that nearly 7 percent of all autism cases are because of chromosomal defects. To be specific, many people diagnosed with ASD don’t have a piece of the Chromosome 16. This particular chromosomal defect is called 16p11.2 deletion syndrome. People with this syndrome often develop neurodevelopment disability and have impaired language skills.

Now scientists might have discovered a way to not only reverse but also prevent this type of ASD. In this researchers, the experts administered experimental cancer drugs to improve brain function in those mice that had symptoms similar to ASD.

The researchers had noticed that mice with symptoms similar to ASD had elevated ERK2 levels. ERK2 is a protein on which cancer therapy in recent times have been focusing. Therefore, the scientists decided to test how experimental cancer drugs affect mice that have 16p11.2 depletion.

The researchers noted that drugs prevented ERK2 from entering the brain of the mice, and this in turn restored normal brain function and mice stopped exhibiting ASD-like symptoms.

This is indeed an encouraging find. Scientists hope that these findings would be replicated in humans as well.

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