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A Researcher Discovers A Drug That Can Reverse The Symptoms Of Autism

A Researcher Discovers A Drug That Can Reverse The Symptoms Of Autism

Autism spectrum disorder is characterized by a range of developmental disorders such as communication and language difficulties, repetitive behaviors and inability to socialize. It begins in childhood and continues through adolescence to adulthood with symptoms appearing in the first five years of life. However, following research, the results showed that the symptoms of autism can be reversed.

According to the National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM) and the Secretary of State for the Prime Minister for Persons with Disabilities in France, 650,000 people live with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) that is 1% of the population. Based on these statistics, this condition is three times more common among boys than girls.

According to Dr. Wendy Roberts, Medical Director of Integrated Services for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders, there is not just one drug that targets the main symptoms of autism. Doctors tend to borrow drugs against other disorders such as anxiety or inattention, which confirms the desperate need for a drug that can treat all the symptoms of autism.

At the same time, a professor of medicine, pediatrics and pathology at the San Diego School of Medicine in the United States believes he has found a drug that can help children with ASD.

Robert Naviaux's research on suramin and TSA
In 2017, Dr. Robert Naviaux, co-director of the Center for Mitochondrial and Metabolic Diseases at the University of San Diego School of Medicine, conducted a clinical study of a 100-year-old drug called suramin in children with diabetes. autism spectrum disorder. Suramin is a drug developed in 1916 to treat sleeping sickness and river blindness (onchocerciasis) caused by parasites.

This clinical trial began with a double-blind, placebo-controlled safety study in which 10 boys aged 5-14, all with ASD, participated. Half of them received a single infusion of suramin. Then the other five boys received a placebo.

Very positive results
The results of this research have been remarkable. The five boys who received the suramin infusion showed improvements in language and social behavior, limited and repetitive behaviors, and coping skills.

According to Dr. Naviaux, two of the five children who received the suramin infusion, a six-year-old boy and a 14-year-old boy, gave the first sentences of their lives about a week after receiving the infusion. Something that did not happen in children who received placebo.

This particular finding was noticed by their parents who were asked to record any change in behavior for a period of only 6 weeks if the change lasted for a minimum of one week.

For the 14 year old boy, in addition to the first sentences pronounced, he experienced a considerable improvement after receiving suramin. One of her parents said that less than an hour after the infusion, their child began to make eye contact with the doctor and the nurses in the room. He became interested in the game of hide and seek with his 16-year-old brother. The parents saw their son's real progress in just six weeks.

However, the benefits of suramin were temporary. Improvements parents saw in their cognitive functions and their boy's behavior reached their peak, then slowly died out when the single dose of suramin was exhausted. But its notable results have shown that suramin is effective at a certain level.

Larger studies are needed
Dr. Naviaux's research was conducted on a small sample and therefore needs to be tested on a larger scale with more diverse groups of people with ASD, to confirm these early findings.

For Dr. Naviaux, this study initiates a renaissance in the development of a drug treating autism spectrum disorder. Suramin offers hope to improve the lives of many children.

This study was very expensive. Dr. Naviaux said he did not have enough funds to conduct a larger study. Expenditures cost more than € 430,000 to complete the study.

It is important to note that suramin is not yet an approved treatment for autism. It is not yet marketed and carries some risks when it is incorrectly administered at a certain dose or with an inappropriate schedule, and without proper medical supervision.
A Researcher Discovers A Drug That Can Reverse The Symptoms Of Autism