A medication used to address social withdrawal and challenging behaviours in patients with fragile X syndrome may hold potential as a means to treat those with autism. This is the finding of a recent study at Rush University Medical Centre and the University of California. Researchers found that an investigational compound known as STX209 or Arbaclofen could target the core symptoms of X syndrome, which are also common among autistic patients. Dr Elizabeth Berry-Kravis, lead author, commented: "This is the first large-scale study that is based on the molecular understanding of fragile X syndrome and, importantly, suggests that the core symptoms may be amenable to pharmacologic treatment." The compound works by targeting the deficiencies in the neurotransmitter gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA), which is thought to cause anxiety and avoidance characteristics. STX209 combines with receptors on a synapse to bring about the desired physiologic reaction that would happen naturally should there be adequate GABA. Find out about Barchester's support for adults and children with a wide range of Autistic spectrum conditions.