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Diabetes drug may improve autism associated disorder

An oral drug extensively used to treat high blood sugar levels may enhance symptoms for people suffering with a common inherited form of autism. The study revealed that the drug — metformin — enhanced sociability and lessens symptomatic behaviors in adult mice with a form of Fragile X syndrome — a genetic disorder that causes intellectual disability, behavioral and learning challenges.

The disorder influence around one in 4,000 boys and one in 6,000 girls. Andrew Stanfield from the University of Edinburgh in England has conveyed that, metformin is usually used drug for other conditions so we previously know a lot about its safety profile.

If clinical trials in people with Fragile X syndrome are victorious then it could be in use much more rapidly than would be the case for a brand new medication. Fragile X syndrome is caused by inherited defects in a gene called FMR1, which leads to surplus protein production in the brain.

This results in the breakdown of associations between brain cells, leading to changes in behavior. The squad looked at the effects of metformin on mice that lack the FMR1 gene. These mice typically have symptoms consistent with Fragile X syndrome — they exhibit repetitive behaviours such as augmented grooming and do not socialise with other mice.

The investigators originate that following mice had treatment with metformin for ten days, protein production in the brain returned to typical levels, brain associations were repaired and they displayed normal behaviour patterns. The therapy also lessened the occurrence of seizures, which are accounted to affect between 10 and 20 per cent of people with Fragile X.