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Autism reversed with African sleeping sickness drug in mice

Lana Bandoim's picture
Autism Reversed

A new study reveals that autism may be reversed with an African sleeping sickness drug, and researchers note only one dose was needed to help the mice in the study. The information, released by the University of California San Diego School of Medicine, mentions that the drug used by researchers is more than 100 years old. Suramin is showing potential as a possible treatment for autism, but scientists are encouraging more testing.

Suramin reverses autism in mice

Suramin is a medication that was originally designed to treat African sleeping sickness, and it has been on the market for more than 100 years. The drug is also known as Germanin, and researchers have previously explored its abilities as an anti-cancer medication. The drug appears to have the ability to restore cell signaling in mice with autism.

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The drug was used on adult mice, so researchers believe this is a sign of hope that autism can be reversed in people of all ages. Metabolic disorders are known factors associated with autism, and the study reveals that medication can be used to change or stop pathways.

Suramin limitations for autism cures

Despite the encouraging information found in the study, suramin may not be the best treatment for autism because of its side effects. The drug can cause a rash, vomiting, anemia, nausea and kidney problems. In addition, researchers found that the reversal of autism in the mice was not permanent. However, scientists believe the potential use for the drug should not be ignored, so clinical trials may begin in the future.

Parents who are considering the use of suramin should consult a medical professional before making any serious decisions about their child’s health. The drug is currently not approved for autism treatments, so they must proceed with caution. Although the study gives many people hope, it may take years before a suitable medication is available on the market.

Image: Wikimedia Commons