A new experimental compound could prove to be a possible new treatment option for autism. In a mouse study, GRN-529 was found to increase social interactions and reduce repetitive behaviours in autistic mice. The compound is known to inhibit activity of a subtype of receptor protein found on brain cells for the chemical glutamate, which is commonly tested for in people with autism. It is hoped the discovery will be translatable to the human brain, which could signalling a positive new way to address autism. Dr Jacqueline Crawley, of the National Institute of Health's National Institute of Mental Health, stated: "Our findings suggest a strategy for developing a single treatment that could target multiple diagnostic symptoms." The study follows on from previous research that indicated inhibitors of the mGluR5 receptor could be used to lessen autism symptoms. Inhibiting the mGluR5 receptor has also been found to be key in preventing migraines. A new paper has called for more research into the environmental causes of autism.
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