AUTISM

AUTISM

July 3, 2012

Success reported in treating autism spectrum disorder in mice

Science Daily — Using a mouse model of autism, researchers at the University of Cincinnati (UC) and Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center have successfully treated an autism spectrum disorder characterized by severe cognitive impairment

The research team, led by Joe Clark, PhD, a professor of neurology at UC, reports its findings online July 2, 2012, in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, a publication of the American Society for Clinical Investigation.

The disorder, creatine transporter deficiency (CTD) is caused by a mutation in the creatine transporter protein that results in deficient energy metabolism in the brain. Linked to the X chromosome, CTD affects boys most severely; women are carriers and pass it on to their sons.

The brains of boys with CTD do not function normally, resulting in severe speech deficits, developmental delay, seizures and profound mental retardation. CTD is estimated to currently affect about 50,000 boys in the United States and is the second-most common cause of X-linked mental retardation after Fragile X syndrome.

Following CTD's discovery at UC in 2000, researchers at UC and Cincinnati Children's led by Clark discovered a method to treat it with cyclocreatine -- also known as CincY, and pronounced cinci-why -- a creatine analogue originally developed as an adjunct to cancer treatment. They then treated genetically engineered mice as an animal model of the human disease. READ MORE >>