A potential cure for autism
Kelsey Anne Smith, Contributing Writer
October 4, 2012
Filed under News
For patients with autism, new research in drug therapy may present the opportunity for a new way of life. Roche and Seaside Therapeutics, two drug development companies, have come together to develop what may be an incredible breakthrough for the treatment of autism.
The drug, called Arbaclofen, may help alleviate behavioral problems that often occur in autism. Specifically, it may help relieve interactive issues that are common in fragile X syndrome. Fragile X syndrome, which affects approximately 100,000 Americans, is similar to autism and causes those who suffer from it to have difficulties in social situations.
Research done over the past 20 years has showed that fragile X syndrome is caused primarily by disruptions in connections within the brain. Arbaclofen works to alleviate these disruptions, thereby helping those with the syndrome have better interactions with those around them.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), roughly 1 in 88 people are affected by autism. With a student population of nearly 20,000 students, this means that there is a large amount of Wright State students who are affected by autism in some form. Whether students are dealing with the disorder themselves or have friends or family who are affected, it is a condition that is prevalent in our society.
Last April, Alpha Xi Delta coordinated the Light It Up Blue campaign at the Nutter Center in support of World Autism Awareness Day. Students at Wright State are becoming more aware of what autism is and how it impacts the lives of those who are affected. Now, students can become more aware of the possibility of improving the symptoms of autism.
Mark Bear, co-founder of Seaside Therapeutics, stated in clinical trials, “It would be, I think, unrealistic to expect that this drug would be uniformly beneficial to all people that have an autism diagnosis.” While the drug is still in the process of being tested, it has already shown improvements in many of the subjects. It is showing the potential of being able to change the lives of thousands of people.