Study identifies protein as target to treat autism

Scientists at Michigan State University found a specific protein may be the cause of many of the symptoms of autism spectrum disorder.

Fragile X syndrome is a genetic condition that causes a range of developmental problems and has been identified as one of the most common causes of autism. Although the gene responsible for the syndrome was discovered in 1991, the researchers at MSU went on an exhaustive search to find a target for treatment -- and may have found one.

"We began with 600-800 potential protein targets, searching for the equivalent of a needle in a haystack," Hongbing Wang, a physiologist at MSU,said in a press release. "Our needle turned out to be ADCY1. When we compare levels of this protein in Fragile X mouse model to normal controls, we saw a 20-25 percent increase in ADCY1."

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8th March 2017