080210xf's Blog

L'X fragile sera vaincu | Fragile X will be conquered

Drug could get into the autistic mind

Celeste Biever, New Scientist

CAN people with autism take a pill to improve their social skills? For the first time, drugs are being tested that could address the social difficulties associated with autism and other learning disorders by tackling some of the brain chemistry thought to underlie them.

The only drugs currently prescribed to people with autism seek to dampen aggression and anxiety. The new drugs, now in the very early stages of clinical testing, address some of the classic symptoms of autism.

“People may learn more, learn to speak better, learn social skills and to be more communicative,” says Randall Carpenter of Seaside Therapeutics in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which is testing one of the drugs.

Geraldine Dawson, chief science officer at the charity Autism Speaks and a psychiatrist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is equally enthusiastic about the prospect of a new class of drugs. “For the first time we are seeing drugs that could tackle core autism symptoms,” she says.

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